January 02, 2007
"Peak Oil" Despair Versus Energy Innovation
The Seattle Times today profiles the group Seattle Peak Oil, which debatably sees a bleak future caused by dwindling world oil supplies.
"We're probably going to end up with some sort of die-off in the world, of people," said Rocky Willson, a Seattle Peak Oil Awareness member with an unsettling outlook. "You can look at it like a black box," said Willson, a foosball-table seller who has taken up gardening. "The oil goes in and creates people. When the oil gets cut off, the people go away." Other members of the group talk about a financial shock caused by soaring oil prices, followed by something approaching the Great Depression.
In fine Seattle fashion, the group wants to dialog about "the emotional, spiritual and philosophical ramifications of life-altering resource scarcities." That may yield ambient methane, but developing real energy alternatives take systematic innovation and capital, not vegan potluck hand-wringing. One entirely more more constructive approach is plug-in hybrid vehicles which run on conventional fuel and electricity stored during off-peak down times. This approach is explained in yesterday's Opinion Journal at WSJ.com by R. James Woolsey, co-chair of The Committee On The Present Danger, and former CIA head. He writes:
Because off-peak nighttime charging uses unutilized capacity, DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory estimates that adopting plug-ins will not create a need for new base load electricity generation plants until plug-ins constitute over 84% of the country's 220 million passenger vehicles...Once plug-ins start appearing in showrooms it is not only consumers and utility shareholders who will be smiling. If cheap off-peak electricity supplies a portion of our transportation needs, this will help insulate alternative liquid fuels from OPEC market manipulation designed to cripple oil's competitors. ...replacing gasoline with electricity further brightens the environmental picture.
...Subsidizing expensive substitutes for petroleum, ignoring the massive infrastructure costs needed to fuel family cars with hydrogen, searching for a single elegant solution--none of this has worked, nor will it. Instead we should encourage a portfolio of inexpensive fuels, including electricity, that requires very little infrastructure change and let its components work together: A 50 mpg hybrid, once it becomes a plug-in, will likely get solidly over 100 mpg of gasoline...
MIT's Technology Review and CNET also praise plug-in hybrid technology. Clean Edge principal Joel Makower tells Red Herring that for plug-in hybrids to pencil out, national time-of-use electricity metering with differentiated peak and off-peak usage rates will be essential.
Posted by Matt Rosenberg at January 02, 2007
02:35 PM | Email This
1. Of course this groups does not mention the fact that they recently discovered that unlike originaly believed, oil is not a fosil fuel. They have shown that in the Gulf of Mexico that the oil feilds there have replenshied themselves. I do agree that finding alternative fuel sources are the way to go. This way you have a back up plan if nothing else. I believe the 70's oil embargo should have taught us that.
I say let's keep using the oil until it's all gone. Then we'll be forced to come up with something different!
It's not fuel for transportation we should worry about: it's the petrochemicals that go into producing the world's food that's gonna be the big elephant in the room.
If oil runs out, there's gonna be mass starvation!
They think oil creates people?
Inside a black box?
Ah... the term black box as used in an economic context is suppose to be used to simplify a process that is too complicated for analysis, not to create a "magic" box that takes oil and makes people. This level of simplification just results in very shallow thinking and gives faulty conclusions.
Less simplification would allow people to see that oil => heat and fuel => greater production of food, shelter, and clothing => people choose to have more children.
Even this is greatly simplified, but at this level one can see that the problem is not a need to find more oil, but a need for fuel- or failing in that, a way to produce food shelter and clothing with less consumption of fuel. Both options open a multitude of opportunities for profit, and thus the profit-motive in a free market will result in these alternatives being adopted- without any need for government intervention.
The Club of Rome, like the Phoenix, rises from the ashes, only this time to become Seattle Peak Oil.
In 1972, in "The Limits to Growth", the Club of Rome predicted we would run out of oil in 20 years' time. Thirty-five years later, recoverable oil volumes are many times what they were in 1972, thanks to technological innovation.
The only oil shortages we have, or will have for the foreseeable future, are the result of political maneuvering, not a shortage of existing petroleum.
As if we need further evidence that the left is made up of hand-wringing calamity hollerers.
Have we forgotten all the doom and gloom articles before "Y2K"? In a few years these nutcases will have disappeared into the woodwork, just like the "Y2K" doomsayers.
The talk of electric "plug-in" cars that magically will be charged up on "off peak hours" just tells me that lefties continually expect something for nothing. I wonder if it dawns on these folks that much of the country's electricity is generated by oil and coal. We've got hydroelectric power here...until enough left wing loonies move here and finally force the removal of the dams, (for the salmon!).
Anyone in the business of selling bomb shelters has just found a motherload of customers....
"Peak oil" is pretty much just a load of BS. I've been hearing gloom and doom stories of how we are running out of oil for 35 years now - heck, we were due to be completely out of oil over a decade a go.
One day Chicken Little was walking in the woods when -- KERPLUNK -- an acorn fell on her head
"Oh my goodness!" said Chicken Little. "The sky is falling! I must go and tell the king."
On her way to the king's palace, Chicken Little met Henny Penny. Henny Penny said that she was going into the woods to hunt for worms.
"Oh no, don't go!" said Chicken Little. "I was there and the sky fell on my head! Come with me to tell the king."
So Henny Penny joined Chicken Little and they went along and went along as fast as they could.
Soon they met Cocky Locky, who said, "I'm going to the woods to hunt for seeds."
"Oh no, don't go!" said Henny Penny. "The sky is falling there! Come with us to tell the king."
So Cocky Locky joined Henny Penny and Chicken Little, and they went along and went along as fast as they could.
Read the rest here: http://www.geocities.com/mjloundy/
8. North America is awash in oil in the sand pits of Alberta and Coal in the US Midwest. These idiots don't know what they are talking about.
I first heard about this a few years ago and thought the person informing me had lost his mind or was reading National Inquirer under the bed covers at night. Anyway the latest theory (from findings in the gulf) is that the earth is making oil faster than we can consume it. In the Gulf of Mexico, old depleted wells are refilling
from the bottom up as opposed to from the sides (like from another well). In the past it was thought that all oil was organic (old dinos), so it was surmised that the supply is finite. After all, how many old, dead dinosaurs are there? This latest phenomenon is reasoned to be oil made from methane deep in the earth's crust that is changed to oil as it moves up though the crust under tremendous pressure. As it moved up, organic compounds were mixed in fooling scientists into thinking it was organically created oil. But that wasn't the case. Once they realized that the organics were not part of the methane created oil they had to re-think. Lately, they have been finding new strikes by dragging an undersea sled, sniffing for methane.
There is no accurate way to judge how much methane made oil is in/under the earth's crust but there is thought to be quite a bit as methane is the (if I remember correctly) most common gas in the universe.
So whatever the doomsayers may say, there seems to be plenty of oil and there will be for quite some time. The enviro-wackos and the politics of letting us get to it is the bigger question.
The US has about 300 years worth of fossil fuel in the form of coal, which when cooked converts to coal tar and gas. Coal tar is the chemical equivalent of oil. Were we to be (g-d forbid) completely embargoed the result within a year or two would be a small rise in the price of petrol followed by a slow decline as extraction technology got better, cheaper. Biodeisel is currently being sold for slightly *less* than fossil-fuel generated diesel.
The proper answer to folks like the "Peak Oil" people lies not in technology or politics, but psychology.
11. None of these hand-wrining, whiny liberals own any guns or ammunition. So there's a good chance that if we ever really have a major fuel crisis, they may experience problems acquiring fuel. The rest of us won't.
12. Personally, I would like to see more done with Ethanol. If Ethanol could be made into a truly viable fuel source just think of the possibilities. We would have our alternative fuel source and think about how many farms could come off of govt. subsidies and grow all the corn they wanted to. Talk about killing 2 birds with one stone.
About oil not being a fossil fuel here is an extensive Human Events article about such:
Yeah, I distinctly remember the 1970s grade school brainwashing that we were just about to run out of oil! Visions of airplanes dropping out of the sky when the last drop was burned..
And, boys and girls, were all going Metric very soon, computers and robotics will take away everyones job - leading to mass starvation, and the Earth will soon become a Big Snowball if were not good
What these economically illiterate leftists never consider is that well never completely run out of petroleum (and will convert to other technologies long before petroleum deposits are nearly tapped out) because as petroleum products become ever-more expensive, other technologies become ever-more attractive (economically viable).
Today, there are more natural sources of fossil fuels identified than ever before. This does not mean that deposits arent finite, but the reason we remain so dependent, thus far, on oil is because its still so PLENTIFUL, and CHEAP compared to the alternatives. Thats not an economic calamity.
Make no mistake about it though future innovations, which the free marketplace naturally provides, will extinguish the leftist scenarios of doom so, liberals can stop worrying and get back to their hemp dreams. Government is guaranteed to screw all this up anyway.
There is, however, a strategic argument for energy independence which can always be made no matter what forms of fuel or technologies we become dependent upon.
about converting from petroleum to alcohol fuels!!
Sounds like an excellent idea to me!!
Jeffy Paine: Wow! I had forgotten all of the 70s doom that was going to engulf us all! ha, ha, ha!! What a crock. But it sure worked!
Your point drives home the way liberal leftists aquire power. Through negitve gloom, doom and envy wheras conservatives offer hope, promise and growth.
Wow! I had forgotten all of the 70's gloom and doom that was going to engulf us all! Ha, ha, ha. What a crock! But it sure worked.
Your point also illustrates how the liberal leftists aquire power. Scare tactics through world ending gloom and doom topped with a big scoop of envy. The cherry on top being guilt.
This morning on the 'taters (the name for the Commentators, as given to John and Ken by Blatherwatch - I like the name!) they had a guy from this group. His way of dealing with it? Well, he has a garden...
I wanted to ask him how big his garden is, because what I've seen says you need around an acre per person to support a decent diet. So unless he's got a 2+ acre garden for him and his partner, they're going to be in the same boat when everything crashes as they proclaim...
The 1970s panic was based on political constraints (opec) and the fact that oil exploration was only done to get to a particular reserve level. Today, the oil companies are struggling to maintain their reserve levels while at the same time spending record amounts on exploration, a very different situation. We see wells at record depths to come up with small amounts of oil. If we go deeper, we will find it takes more energy to extract than we get from the oil, so it will not be viable to extract it.
Currently there are no alternatives that provide the energy to weight density or the transport flexibility that we have with oil. There is no talk of a 747 running on ethanol or hydrogen for very good reasons, it is not possible.
At the moment, there is no alternative for oil, we need huge investment to find the alternatives, currently no one is investing and time is quickly running out. It will take decades to find the solution, develop the technology, then develop the required infrastructure such as the equivalent of refineries, pipelines, supertankers, gas stations, cars, planes, ships, agricultural machinery. More likely we need a range of alternatives so need many sets of infrastructure which is a more complex problem to solve.
Yes - big, scary doom scenarios are exactly how leftists gain and maintain their power so that they can "provide" their wonderful solutions - by taking ever more of your wealth away and issuing commands to you - all to "save" us from our dangerous selves, of course.
Look at the dreaded Global Warming, for instance. It's scary as hell! The ever-so-slight warming is not what's scary - but the takeover of everyone's lives, liberty and property "required" to save us from some impending invisible cataclysm - THAT THE BUMBLING MASSES ARE IRRESPONSILBY CREATING!
Here's something I find fascinating - any responsible scientist will tell you that the two most scary greenhouse gases are 1) water vapor, and 2) carbon dioxide. And what are the two largest volumes of gas we humans give off? 1) water vapor, and 2) carbon dioxide - BY THE PROCESS OF BREATHING.
Seriously - is it strictly a coincidence that the people who advocate Zero Population Growth (ZPG - for stopping human procreation), euthanasia, "offspring" for lesbians from Petri dishes, starving invalids (e.g. Terri Schiavo) to death, and performing unlimited abortions, are the same ones who are SO concerned about humans generating uncontrolled emissions of poisonous greenhouse gases??
I keep asking Leftists exactly what calamities will precipitate upon human populations even if we were to accept that the Earth's mean temperature is increasing at a rate of .5 degrees per century - but I never get any specific answers which would come anywhere close to justifying Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton and their ilk of seizing the remaining tatters of our liberties (in order to save us).
The only answer I do get from GW alarmists is that a glacier is receding! Or polar bears' environments are becoming warmer! Or that winters are becoming more frequently comfortable!
But you'll notice that none of these answers includes harm to humans. Why, I ask?
" Yes - big, scary doom scenarios are exactly how leftists gain and maintain their power so that they can "provide" their wonderful solutions"
Except they never "provide" any solutions, just more fabricated doom and gloom and academic circle-babble, (see "montai" at #19).
I'd say there's still PLENTY of oil and natural gas out there... Here's a new find
by a Vancouver, BC company. Found in Hungary, of all places, it's up to 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which puts that ONE FIND on the order of all the proven reserves in the US, UAE, even approaching Saudi Arabia.
And that's just one find by these guys... They're sniffing around in the Gulf of Mexico, perhaps they'll find another huge reserve?
"And that's just one find by these guys... They're sniffing around in the Gulf of Mexico, perhaps they'll find another huge reserve?"
And if it's in U.S. territorial waters guess who will prevent us from going after the resource?
9/19/2006Â -Â EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFPN)Â --Â The Air Force accomplished another aviation first when a B-52 Stratofortress flew using an alternative fuel Sept. 19.
The flight test involved running two of the bomber's engines on a synthetic fuel, made from a 50-50 blend of traditional crude oil-based fuel and a Fischer-Tropsch fuel derived from natural gas.Â The jet's other six engines ran on traditional JP-8 jet fuel.
There is still a lot of oil and gas to be discovered, and we find pockets most weeks. The problem is that for many years now we have consumed much faster than we have discovered and we are exploring more than ever before, drilling rig hiring costs have more than doubled due to the demand.
We will be drilling in US territorial waters, all over Alaska and in Antarctica within 2 to 3 years as these are the only locations left, and the environmental considerations will be forgotten through necessity. There will also be a large number of nuclear projects started worldwide within 3 years.
Natural Gas in Hungary will be very difficult to get to the US.
26. montai, can you cite sources that confirm what you are claiming here is accurate?
I sense you're swayed by several economic fallicies.
We have, thus far, not consumed faster than we discover because we currently have record volumes of untapped fuel sources identified.
Second, analysis of costs means nothing without camparing them to the other parts of the economic equation.
What's wrong with extracting energy from various locations throughout U.S. territory? This would go a long way to covering us strategically - where today we're very dangerously exposed to the whims of assorted tyrants and despots throughout the world.
The "environment" would not go by the wayside in this country - especially with our fanatical Left.
What's wrong with nuclear energy? It has a far greater bang for the buck, and is far safer than any other form of energy listed here. Right?
Just out of curiosity, what exactly are all of these "new" "sources" that the Left incessantly calls upon unknown persons to just "discover". What exactly is this previously unknown Energy?
Oh, I get it - we don't know yet because it hasn't been discovered. So, how do we know it exists (to be found) again??
If you go to www.rigzone.com you will find the drilling rig utilizations and daily pricing. This is a web site used by much of the oil exploration industry.
Daily rates are constantly updated at
Utilization of rigs if found at
Re: Global Warming
You forget to mention Methane (CH4). That is a very potent global warming gas. It is 20 times more effective at trapping the sun's heat than CO2. Global warming is not just doom and gloom nonsense. It is becoming more evident every year that it is, in fact. occuring. Slightly right now, but natural feedbacks as trapped CO2 an CH4 are released will accellerate global warming and anyone living within 50 feet of sea level is screwed later this Century.
Re: Peak Oil
On that one, I agree it is a lot of hysteria. There could be some serious economic ramifications in the short term if oil quadruples in price as it runs short in supply. But in the longer run, there are plenty of energy alternatives available, it's just a matter of making them cost-effective. In a post-oil peak world, the market system will find a way to deliver alternatives to oil in cost-effective manner and peak oil will be a fading problem.
I never said it was wrong to explore in US territories, I am just saying it will happen no matter what the arguments are, the pressure is increasing. There is no point in discussing if it is right or wrong, it will happen.
I never said there was anything wrong with nuclear, however no one has built a nuclear plant due to a number of regulatory and political hurdles since Three Mile Island. We must build them now, many of them. The forces are such that we will overcome the hurdles.
If you wanted to make good money, oil companies and exploration companies have been a great investment for the last few years, huge returns. I don't expect this to change.
31. Please people, pray and be happy. The bleak talk is a distraction. There is nothing to worry about. God gave us this world to subdue and populate from ocean to ocean. He will see that we have enough of everything needed.
The market may resolve the energy problems, the question is over what period of time and what is the associated pain.
I agree that the market will resolve the problems, but I think if we invest in alternatives now, the pain level will be lower.
The potential pain level is extremely high, although hard to predict.
I like it, if only God was there for the various famines over the years.
I agree with your comments entirely regarding energy replacement in a post-peak world. The question is how much time and pain will it take to transition. There will be a lot of economic activity generated as a result of the scamble to replace oil-based engines. I see it as a huge stimulus to the economy after the energy shortage problems are worked out.
Not sure if the immediate concern is exactly "Peak Oil". It is more that the energy industry has finally realized that it makes way more more money when there is not excess capacity. True, there maybe lots of oil and fossil feul left. But the issue is that it is getting more and more expensive to recover. So companies are only going to make such large investments when they are sure they can sell everything they produce.
Translated. Prices will continue to be high. There will continue to be shortages when demand is high. The summer driving season or during very cold winters. Even worse, when supplies are interupted due to natural disasters, war or terrorism, their will be shortages and prices will skyrocket. We saw this last year. It will happen again. So either be prepared by adjusting your lifestyle so you can drive less and use less resources or risk suffering for a while. Your call.
Oh one other thing. Two billion people in China and India are working their asses off to improve their standard of living. To do this, they are competing for oil, gas, steel and everything else needed to maintain your standard of living. They just might be able to out compete you for these resources. If they do, I don't have much sympathy for you.
Time to live more by consuming fewer resources. If you doubt that this can be done, just look at what many of the European countries are doing. They get it.
Have you read up on Peak Oil? It's not quite as rosy or benign of a scenario as you paint it to be. It is not a matter of peak driving summertime gasoline shortages and high prices. It is a matter of for the first time in modern history that oil supplies will not, and can not, keep up with demand as oil production reaches its highest levels possible. Then, there will be a downside, as production falls, but demand does not. These sort of shortages often cause 400% increases in commodity prices in a matter of months. Imagine $10/gallon gasoline in a matter of a few months. What do you think that would do to our economy? That is what Peak Oil advocates worry about.
In the long run, we'll find alternatives to oil. But there will be some pain, and a serious economic recession. It would be wise for us to plan for the oil peak to lessen the impact.
I have met your god and he is called "technology". Technology is a wonderful god -- it has provided the Internet, high definition television, SUVs, McDonalds, and an epidemic of obesity. But you will soon discover that technology is a fallible god which is not able to deliver on everything that you've been promised.
For example, there is a myth running rampant all across society that oil supplies are essentially infinite, or (if not) something else will appear just-in-time to keep this gluttonous American lifestyle going forever. The myth is comforting and that is why it is so popular.
What Americans fail to realize is that we import 60% of the oil that we consume, and we consume 25% of the entire world's daily oil output. When a nation of 300 million consumes 25% of a resource it is evident that the resource is not infinite.
What Americans also fail to realize is that the 60% of our oil consumption that Americans import is only possible because of the extraordinary and unrelenting poverty of the oil-exporting nations. If these nations consumed oil at the same gluttonous rate as obese America they would have no oil to export.
Finally, Americans should have noticed by this time that the price of gasoline is increasing perceptibly. This is a trend that should concern Americans because at some point the price of gasoline could get so expensive as to make the automobile-obsessed American lifestyle prohibitively expensive.
How will America respond to $5 a gallon gasoline? How will America survive $10 a gallon gasoline?
We're going to find out over the next several years. The United States of America is a country which can collapse. I suspect that we are all going to live long enough to witness America's collapse with our own eyes.
38. Comment 20 by Jefferson Paine I believe is pretty close to truth --
Global warming threatens the very survival of our species so perhaps you should take it seriously. In the past 600 million years billions of species have gone extinct through natural climate change and other factors. Homo sapiens are unique in the sense that our extinction is self-inflicted.
But you need not worry. American capitalism is an extremely powerful tool for transforming the public into passive, distracted, obese consumers addicted to oil, energy and gadgets. Too bad that the Earth cannot possibly sustain the American lifestyle for very much longer.
I suspect that America's collapse will occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Remember how the Soviet Union collapsed? That's how America will collapse except with much more violence both here and abroad.
I agree we need to reduce consumption now, but I just don't see it happening. With all the increases in gas prices, consumption in US went down by 1% in 2006, but probably this can be attributed to milder weather, not people tightening their belts.
I think energy has been so cheap, that a 100% increase in prices will only provide a small reduction in consumption. If this is the case, then there is the potential for huge increases in prices to get consumption down until it meets supply. This is the main Peak Oil theory.
I think another important aspect of Peak Oil is that the timing is impossible to predict. While the key supply countries in the Middle East are not open in their reserve figures, they do not allow independent audit, then no one can predict where the peak will be. However a number of secondary factors suggest we are getting near, the sizes of discoveries, depth of drilling, global price, expenditure on exploration. We know that US fields and the North Sea are past their peaks.
We actually import 65% of the oil we use and we are approaching 70%. It is a completely insane way to run a country. Anyone who supports the status quo of fighting wars for dwindling oil supplies is a moron. We should be focusing our efforts on finding domestic/renewable energy supplies. When the oil peak happens, the U.S. will be the country that is negatively affected the most, since we are so reliant on cheap oil. Our whole economy is based on cheap oil, the SUVs, the McMansions far away from work and commerce. All possible thanks to cheap oil.
If we want our "way of life" to continue, we'd be wise to find alternatives to oil. Because the oil peak is either here now or happening soon. Oil prices are already up 200% over the past 3 years. $10/gallon gasoline is possible after the peak, and that will really impact our economy.
Then, we will move on to a new energy medium for transporation, probably electricity.
Hello John C,
Electricity is not a viable alternative to oil as a power source for transportation. Oil-based fuels power nearly all automobiles for a reason: liquid fuels are an ideal for this use.
Nor should anyone suppose that America's electricity supply will perpetually increase and never decline. The fuels that power electricity generation are also subject to the same forces of depletion that are confronting oil. The electrical grid is also old and subject to collapse.
As far as other alternatives to oil: These alternatives exist only because of oil. You can demonstrate this easily enough by imagining how society would function without oil but relying only upon the alleged oil-alternaitive. What you will discover is: Without oil the alternative eiher doesn't exist or is prohibitively expensive or is otherwise impractical for use as a power source for a nation with 200 million automobiles.
Anyhow, Peak Oil is *not* humankind's greatest catastrophe of the 21st century. There are at least six catastrophes which will afflict humankind in this century and three of them are much more dangerous than peak oil (namely: Climate Change, Peak Water, and Peak Food).
I don't imagine that our species will survive. In fact, I am certain that our species will go extinct.
Yes John, I have read up on Peak Oil. My point is that even if someone is not convinced about Peak Oil, there is still great reason for concern regarding supply and price thanks to our "great" market based economy. Either way, we need to reduce oil consumption quickly while it is still a matter of choice.
Also, regardless of when it runs out, it would be nice to leave some of this "useful" resource for future generations. We have to be the most selfish and self-centred generation ever. People seem astonished if anyone dares to even suggest making even a small sacrifice for future generations.
Back to the main premise of the article, Peak Oil and Dispair. Personally, I believe that using less oil, driving less and consuming less in general will all lead to a much better world than the one we have today.
Even or perhaps especially for those who are really passionate about cars and driving. To be honest, everyone driving everywhere for everything has taken all the joy out of driving and instead turned it into a miserable chore that turns normally nice people into raving maniacs. By building rail and more compact communities where people can walk instead of drive, far fewer people will have to drive freeing up space on the roads for those who really love to drive. Hey, who know, maybe in 50 years the automobile will go the way of the horse. People will keep them in garages in the country, take the train to them on the weekend and enjoy wonderful drives in the country.
Cars should be a passion, not a necessity!!!!
I agree about leaving some of the stuff for future generations. The problem is that people see crude oil as something that is used for making gasoline, but it is also required for plastics, fertilisers, all types of oils to name a few, all these things will be impacted.
I like your sentiment about reducing car usage, but like I said before, I just can't see it happening. When I was at school, 90% of students walked or rode a bicycle, now my kids go to school where 90% turn up in a car. I don't see us changing back in a hurry.
Looking at all the alternative energy sources that are being proposed, this is probably the first time in history that mankind has moved to a less efficient energy source.
46. Have a feeling judging from the Dave Mathews and some other moonbat comments that this whole story is a plant airmed at the coming Oly session. The United States began running out of oil after Santa Barbara when Dave's father helped shut down off shore drilling -- the gas "crisis" we have now is primarily a refinery capacity crisis -- we haven't built a new one in 20-years -- I do not doubt that we will have a gas "crisis" in this country -- but it will be government facilitated --
"The 1970s panic was based on political constraints (opec) and the fact that oil exploration was only done to get to a particular reserve level"
Actually, it was a concerted effort of propaganda put forth by various green organizations that visited the schools. Can't tell you the number of times some damned hippie showed up to tell us all how the planet has just "running out of oil!", it was nearly all gone, and the dark ages were coming. We all had to go directly to solar and wind power!!
Hippies were liars then, and their intellectual progeny are liars now.
At last count, only 3% of the 75,000+ dams in the U.S. had powerhouses, i.e., were designed to generate electricity. If we added powerhouses to even half of them, the amount of off-peak (i.e., nighttime) electricity available to charge plug-ins would be astronomical. Hydropower is renewable, 90+ percent efficient, environmentally benign (I don't eat fish) and will only run out when the sun implodes.
Relax--there is a solution. It just doesn't pencil out yet.
For how many years hae we been "running out of oil"? Actually since it was pumped out of the ground. These Seattle Peak Oil clowns are just the latest in a undistinguished list of "experts" who demand that we take their arbitrary claims as fact.
Obviously this group hasn't been keeping up with current events. The huge find in the Gulf of Mexico last summer is in direct contradiction to their claims. What about the oil fields off the coast of Florida and California, ANWR, the vast oil sands in Canada and oil shale in Colorado? There is oil all over the place but insane regulations keep us from getting at it. Or do these dolts equate natural obstacles, that can be overcome, to man made impediments that require an act of Congress or a god to overcome?
Most people reacting here should check out the facts concerning Peak Oil and so-called alternatives before dismissing the problem outright.
True, oil supply concerns are not new and have been wrong before, but this time things seem to be different. Mark that the internet allows superior information sharing and processing. Judging the oil supply situation today has advanced much because of information sharing and intense online debate.
Just check out some of the articles at www.theoildrum.com and you might agree that all is not well. At all!
Aside: Did you ever wonder why the USA invaded Iraq? One reason only: US military domination of the Middle East to secure oil supply on the terms of the free world. Why is that, do you think?
There is no reason why alternatives can not provide all the energy we need. The sun, wind, water, tides, etc. contain so much energy that it could power the world many times over. It is only a matter of having the will to tap these power sources.
We have made transitions from wood to coal to oil and we will make a transition to energy sources beyond oil, when the time comes. It is just a matter of economics driving the change. People will demand energy, and the market will deliver. There is a lot of research already going on in alternative energy.
Petrochemicals can be provided by the remaining oil or synthetic oil produced from organic materials and waste.
Drilling for oil off of California's coast isn't going to make oil last forever. The very act which you are advocating indicates that America's supplies of oil are running out. Desperate times demand desperate measures and that is why the oil companies are searching for oil in the hurricane-infested deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Jack2) and also why those tar sands of Canada have become attractive.
To say that the crisis is simply a "refinery capacity crisis" is simply to delude your own self. It is not wise, nor is it healthy, to continue feeding an obese person more food just because the obese person demands it.
You conservatives should count George W. Bush as a moonbat (indeed, he is) because he said in the State of the Union, "America is addicted to oil". It is altogether crazy for you people to advocate on behalf of America's addiction.
The United States of America does not have an infinite supply of oil. America's oil production peaked in the 1970's and have diminished relentlessly since then. Alaska's great oil fields are diminishly relentlessly, too. I suppose that these facts should inform a reasonable conservative mind, but it is impossible to reason with an addict.
If America's oil production can relentlessly decline for decades it is logical to suppose that the Muslims' oil production can reach a peak and dwindle, too. Unless God has blessed the Muslims more than the Americans by giving them eternal oil fields. God gave the Muslims a lot of oil but not an infinite oil supply.
Those who expect oil to last forever and increase in production forever are nuts. All of the Earth's resources are subject to depletion from production. At one time California was producing tons of gold every year, but the gold production peaked and has now diminished to almost-nothing. At one time, Nevada's Comstock lode produced tons of silver every year. The mine was depleted and it is now only a historical site.
Gold and silver are finite. We know this intuitively and that is why we pay so much for the precious metals. Oil is also finite, but unlike gold and silver (which are atomic and therefore eternal) the oil is burned away in its use and becomes useless pollution in the atmosphere.
The Earth's oil supplies are diminishing at the rate of 85 million barrels a day. Those who imagine that humans can continue consuming oil at this rate forever are just plain crazy.
Hello John C,
I hate to burst your bubble, but this hope is pure fantasy:
"People will demand energy, and the market will deliver."
It is altogether possible that in the future people are going to demand energy and discover that the market cannot deliver.
The Market is not God. The Market cannot create energy ex nihilo in order to satisfy the demands of desperate & angry energy addicts.
And this is exactly what is going to happen: A day will come in which 300+ million Americans will demand gasoline or some alternative for their cars and they will discover that the Market has failed.
Capitalism is a flawed economic system for many reasons. Among them: Capitalism places so much value on the present moment that it fails to make provisions for the future. Which is to say: If it is profitable to burn all of the Earth's fossil fuels now, capitalism will burn them all up.
The future will just have to live without. Just as billions of humans right now have no choice except to live without.
America's future is bleak. All of those alternatives you mentioned, "The sun, wind, water, tides, etc.", will not provide the energy that America needs. America's addiction to oil and electricity will meet a hard physical limit.
What happens when an unstoppable force (growth-and-consumption driven capitalism) meets an immovable object (the laws of Nature and Nature's finity)? I think that the unstoppable force will stop and billions of humans will suddenly discover that the Earth simply won't provide either for their needs or wants. Lots of people will die and the suffering will spread from the impoverished people to the entire world.
The United States of America is a dying nation. Our nation is as sick as the Soviet Union and the illness is terminal. Those advocating on behalf of America's addiction are destroying America's future.
I agree that the U.S. is similiar to the former Soviet Union in the propaganda that the current adminstration utilizes to maintain power and its agressive warmongering. But unlike the USSR, the U.S. is a relatively fluid energy market that will react and change to market forces. I say relatively, because the U.S. government interferes with the energy markets when it spends hundreds of billions on military protection for the oil industry, and has made oil unrealistically inexpensive. But, once oil gets too expensive even for the government to save, alternative energy will replace oil.
A recent study found that an algea farm the size of a good sized American county could provide all the biodiesel we need for transporation. Also, battery technology is improving dramatically with 300 mile charges and 10 minute recharges on the horizon, which make the electric car feasible. Workable, but expensive at the moment. The electricity grid from generation to transmission to end use is so inefficient that we could get a lot more out of the electric infrastructure we already have.
The sky is not falling, it's just chaning to a different color. The color green.
Hello John C,
Dreams of an algea-based biodiesel economy are simply dreams. If there was any practical means by which America's farmers could earn the billions of dollars which are now presently flowing to the Middle East they certainly would have seized that opportunity by now. Once the necessity for oil-alternatives arises (via depletion, political or military causes) it will be too late for the farmers to set up these biodiesel algea farms in order to fuel our cars suddenly deprived of oil.
In other words: If an oil alternative is available it should have existed by now because the scale of the project becomes prohibitively expensive in a post-Peak Oil environment. Once America becomes deprived of its oil imports all sorts of activities which are practical now will suddenly become impossible.
Anyhow, farmers are in the business of feeding humans, not automobiles. If the farmers suddenly decided to feed 200 million autmobiles certainly that will lead to millions of humans starving to death. We love our cars but are we willing to allow millions of people to starve to death so that our cars can keep driving? Probably. We already commit this crime against humanity in places such as Nigeria and Iraq, but this is another subject altogether.
Battery powered automobiles is one of those ideas which is too-good-to-be-true and is in fact a myth. Batteries have many problems and impracticalities which render them a non-solution to the oil depletion problem.
What this all means is that: The American Way Of Life is coming to an end, and will come to an absolute and eternal end within this 21st century. Americans will lose our prosperities, our freedoms, our mobility, and (if we are really unlucky) our lives.
Breaking an addiction is a painful experience. Imagine how painful it will be for 300 million Americans to break the oil addiction. It won't be pretty.
You are missing the point about alternative energy solutions. They are solutions for a future world. Not today's world of relativelt cheap and abundent oil. A world where cheap oil from the Middle East is no longer available and alternatives are sought. When gasoline is selling for $10/gallon, biodiesel algea farms will become economical and you'll start seeing them, just as you see traditional biodiesel production ramping up right now as the price of oil products increases.
Why would you assume that the American people are just going the throw in the towl over energy when oil runs lows, when there will be alternatives from electric propulsion to biofuels that run in far more efficient cars than we have today. You have a defeatist attitude and knowing what I know about technology trends in the energy sector I believe you will be proven wrong. The solutions are out there, the costs are prohibitively expensive for now, but will not be forever.
57. Don't forget solar. In case you haven't been following developments in solar. It has been advancing in recent years and is become more cost effective and efficient. The U.S. military is working on 50% efficient solar cells in a crash program over the next 5 years. Battery technology is also making dramatic improvments with Lithium and Sulfur ion batteries that can provide far longer ranges and faster recharges. The world of the future is not the world as it exists in 2006.
Interesting self-justifying logic with these flat-earther's. Peak-oil is not an issue because we have lots of oil to burn. This will cause a huge amount of CO2 in the atmosphere but that's not a problem because Global Warming doesn't exist either.
Nothing like having it all. In the end you'll find you don't know "Jack".
I've looked into all the alternatives to create a business model around, and either the alternatives have to improve their capabilities by a factor of 5 or reduce their cost by a factor of 5 before they make any sense (they are of course exceptions depending on location but most of us don't live on a mountain peek at the equator, at least not yet anyways ;) )
In the end, its all very much like being on the Titanic. There are signs that the ship is sinking (high energy prices, low oil discovery, low food production, economic instability, resource wars/conflicts) that can be seen for those willing to look, and there are life boats available (alternative energy, conservation, permaculture). The only problem is that just like the Titanic, there are not enough life boats to hold everyone (7+ billion people).
Now you can argue the problem while a few of us get into the life boats and quietly sail away. The result will be a very comfortable boat for a few of us, but much less people saved in the end, because ultimately, the ship is going down. The only question is how many people will go down with it.
And if you try to get into my lifeboat you'll find that my gun is bigger than your gun, and my dog is bigger than you. So you better be prepared to ask nicely
As an example of what has become of the land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, I offer this. Good God, this is what going through life in a state of perpetual terror leads to. It is not only a total waste of time and money it also diverts resources from those who are actually in danger.
Broken Thermometer Causes 100 to Respond to Mercury Spill
Last Update: 1/2/2007 8:47:16 AM
CARMEL, N.Y. (AP) - It was quite a New Year's Eve at the home of Richard Berger in Carmel - in Putnam County. Someone in the house broke a rectal thermometer and the family called 911 around 10:30 to report the small mercury spill.
Several dozen volunteers from the Carmel Fire Department responded to the house on Brookview Drive.
Fire Chief Darryl Johnson says mercury is a hazardous material that can cause stomach problems if inhaled.
Men wearing protective gear used wet sponges to clean up the puddle.
It was packaged and brought to the Carmel firehouse where the county health department will dispose of it today.
The Berger family was not hurt.
Yep... Peak Oil. We're running out. $10/gallon of gas is right around the corner. Civilization will collapse, the earth will never support more than 1 billion people...
Never mind that oil fell another $2/barrel today, or the fact that - if we lived as the Seattle City Council and Mayor Nickels dreams, all packed in high-rises downtown, we could fit the entire population of the WORLD in Texas...
We have a lot more resources than the doomsayers want to admit. A lot is locked up because of politics, a lot because it's not economical to work on it. The tar sands of Canada are huge reserves, and they're starting to get worked, but it's going slow. Why? Because the actual price should be around $40/barrel, where the tar sands extraction breaks even. The rest of the current price is speculation of traders and fear of what that nut-job in Iran is going to do...
As far as "not finding reserves fast enough", I'd love to see some independent data to back that up. Just look at that natural gas strike in the one area of Hungary - 200 TRILLION cubic feet. About 10 times what the ENTIRE EU uses annually. From one strike.
That's not including the oil at that strike - where there's gas, there's oil...
Sadly soup-sandwiches such as "Seattle Peak Oil" help to discourage actual discussion of issues such as these. This would not be a problem if it kept to the folks that use their weekend to go bother whales, but it affects the rest of us, notice the responses in this category. More than a few tend to be (Ahem) somewhat caviler about the entire issue.
Don't let the loonies make you scoff when there are actual issues. Likewise don't assume that some miracle technology will come along to solve all our problems.
It would seem impossible to predict what the oil situation will look like in ten or twenty years. Its no unreasonable to use this wonderful energy source while at the same time using the wealth it allows us to generate to invest in other technologies that might serve us in the future. Predictions of impending Al-Gorish calamity aside, would it be undesirable to have alternatives?
I agree, and I also look at what's happening - hybrids are commonplace, fuel cell development is progressing with several car manufacturers vying to be the first to release hydrogen-powered cars in 2008, etc. The problem IS being addressed.
The issue is that the "we're ALL GONNA DIE!" (WAGD) crowd doesn't accept that perhaps the market can solve the problem - which it is currently solving... Heck, want to eliminate most of our CO2 emissions? Let's go to nuclear, like France or Germany. Eliminate all our coal and natural gas fired power plants... Of course, the "death rattle" crowd is anti-nuclear...
How about hydro? If we dammed the Puget sound - completely - tidal forces would generate enough power to supply everything west of the Rockies. One bay. Yeah, it screws up THIS ecosystem, but we could eliminate ALL dams, coal/gas/nuclear plants west of Denver. But again, that's not acceptable.
In my view, too many of the WAGD crowd want us to lose ALL progress - have ZERO impact on the earth, which is patently impossible. Even primitive tribes have impact on their environment! We can manage the earth as a resource, or we can all die and leave it pristine. Personally, I like the first. And it seems to me that most of the capitalistic destroyers of the environment and life itself - you know, companies - are working to address alternative sources of energy.
You can't just go with solar or wind - if it's cloudy or calm you're out of power. We need power - in this day and age - that is constant and reliable. Either hydro/tidal (gravity based) or fuel (nuclear/gas/coal). Choosing something else just isn't practical. Even Las Vegas has cloudy days, and even the Columbia gorge is calm once in a while!
btw, I am Canadian and well aware of the tar sand's potential and I, like your President, am making plans to not be in North America in the future (and may actual end up a neighbour of Georgie boy). Now why would that be?
As for discoveries, Look more closely at the Hungary strike you mention, it is only an estimate (as is the Jack find). Try looking up the history of the Caspian Sea exploration. 200B Estimate before exploration, after Exploration, 20B of the world's most sour oil. There is a very long road between Geological survey and flowing pipelines (which btw will not flow from Hungary to your furnance)
For an independant study of not finding oil fast enough, that you'll have to do your own research because you won't believe anything I reference. Suffice it to say that the current rate is 3 to 4 barrels burned for every 1 barrel found. You may disprove that figure at your leisure.
As for the economics of tarsand oil, its a moving target. It use to be economical at $18/brl, then $25/brl and now they're saying $40-$50/brl. All the while technology is improving. So why the cost increase, because it takes a lot of oil, natural gas and water to produce oil from the tar sands (who would have thought using three depleting resource to produce one would be a bad idea).
In the end the whole idea of Economics solving the problem is flawed because if you look around you'll find; you're not as rich as you think.
P.S. there is one Tarsand technology (THAI) which could change everything, but until it proves itself it is just more wishful thinking (and ultimately disasterous as global warming would start looking like "The Day After Tomorrow")
Is it of any concern to you that Canada's tar sands industry is an ecological catastrophe which is transforming living forests into lifeless moonscapes and cesspools of poisonous water which can kill birds on contact?
Canada's making a big sacrifice on behalf of America's SUV drivers. Canada really doesn't have much of a choice about the matter, though, because Canada is a voluntary colony of the United States of America. Canada's energy and environmental policy come straight from Washington, just as generations ago it came from London.
Canada's tar sands industry is an egregious example of America's desperation for oil. When a nation is addicted so addicted to a drug that it must perpetually consume more it can easily justify destroying a state-sized region of Canada for the sake of fuelling its automobiles cheap.
If Canadians had any pride they would save their forests and tell Americans to walk.
Yes, oil dropped precipitously today. But you should not assume that a $2 drop in the price of oil serves as a guarantee that gasoline will never become prohibitively expensive. In order to comprehend the full magnitude of America's catastrophe you must look at the long term. By "long term" I mean those things which could very well occur within your lifetime.
The price of oil could drop to $50 or $45 a barrel between now and 2010 but that alone should not lull Americans into complacency regarding America's oil supply. Any number of catastrophes (both small and great) could quickly cause oil to skyrocket to new highs. Should the world have the good fortune of escaping these calamities within the next decades the natural process of depletion will certainly constrain America's consumption of oil.
You seem to entertain delusions about the world's overpopulation problem: "we could fit the entire population of the WORLD in Texas..." Yes, that is true, but only if you transform the entire state of Texas into an immense slum such as exists throughout the Third World.
What you ought to realize is that the lifestyle which exists in Washington and Texas does not exist throughout much of the rest of the world. In this present world billions of humans susbsist on less than $1 a day of income and lack the basic necessities of life. These people live in a perpetual state of Hell, malnourished and sick and subject to every sort of oppression and injustice.
If so much suffering is possible with 6.5 billion humans, how much worse can the Earth become once there are 9,000,000,000 humans?
> "The issue is that the "we're ALL GONNA DIE!" (WAGD) crowd doesn't accept that perhaps the market can solve the problem - which it is currently solving... "
You have faith in market in the same sense that a Christian has faith in God. "The market will provide" is an analogous promise to "God will provide". You have a great deal of faith in the free market but there is plenty of suffering on the Earth during this era of free market dominance. The free market does not provide food to the people of Zimbabwe nor can it restore Haiti's former forests. The free market cannot possible restore all of the pollution which fossil fuels have inflicted upon the Earth, nor can it bring an extinct species back from the dead.
> "How about hydro? If we dammed the Puget sound - completely - tidal forces would generate enough power to supply everything west of the Rockies. One bay. Yeah, it screws up THIS ecosystem, but we could eliminate ALL dams, coal/gas/nuclear plants west of Denver. But again, that's not acceptable."
Damming Puget Sound for the sake of electricity is a pretty fine demonstration of how energy-addiction has driven capitalists insane. Have you considered that maybe the living ecosystem of Puget Sound might provide benefits which exceed that of electricity?
Of course, humans have already destroyed much of the Earth on behalf of electricity, oil and profit. Homo sapiens are undoubtedly the most terrible animal to ever afflict the Earth. But Homo sapiens are also a self-quenching fire because the ultimate price that our species will pay for its own destructive foolishness is extinction.
> "In my view, too many of the WAGD crowd want us to lose ALL progress - have ZERO impact on the earth, which is patently impossible. Even primitive tribes have impact on their environment! We can manage the earth as a resource, or we can all die and leave it pristine. Personally, I like the first. And it seems to me that most of the capitalistic destroyers of the environment and life itself - you know, companies - are working to address alternative sources of energy."
Humans are terrible at managing the Earth as a resource. Humans want to either consume or burn the entire Earth. When we see plants and animals all that we perceive is: Something to eat, something to kill, something to burn, something to drive to extinction ... who cares, I only live today!
Homo sapiens are the worst possible animal to ever dominate a living planet. Humans have transformed the living Earth into humankind's sewer. Nature suffers but Nature is patient. Nature will exterminate the human pest.
Have you ever noticed that humans have a particular affection for asphalt and desolate lifeless wastelands? Humans have polluted the land, the oceans and the atmosphere. While all these things might appear tolerable to you now there's a pretty good chance that your children and grandchildren will suffer immensely because of your foolishness.
Is it of any concern to you that Canada's tar sands industry is an ecological catastrophe which is transforming living forests into lifeless moonscapes and cesspools of poisonous water which can kill birds on contact?
Mat Simon's calls the tarsands "Turning Gold into Lead" and I quite agree with him. THAI may change that, but then the Titanic just lists to the Starboard (global warming) instead of Port (peak oil). As some have said above, there are alternative lifeboats and the way to survive is to get in them. Pontificating about how the Ship is unsinkable is a very poor strategy.
If Canadians had any pride they would save their forests and tell Americans to walk.
There is way too much planning going on about the Amero and the "North American Union" to think that anything can stop Canada's explotation now. Canada was sold out with Free Trade and has signed steadly worse agreements with each amendment. The whole issue is not even discussed anymore. I've resigned myself to give up on this country
My lifeboat will not be in the "Great White North"
Wow - the level here of Paul R. Ehrlich-esque moonbattery is almost stunning. To learn some essential economics, try reading Thomas Sowell's book Basic Economics, or Free to Choose by Milton Friedman.
We are NOT about to run out of oil any time soon (just look at the prices in real terms). We are not 'addicted' to oil, it's just that most of us consume it because of the unprecedented UTILITY it brings us - and becuase it's still so cheap and plentiful.
While leftists scream bloody murder when gasoline prices rise, it actually should make them giddy because nothing would make alternative energy technologies more attractive (economically viable).
Prices are not a evil capitalistic plot, they are simply the most-efficient mechanism for balancing supplies of resources with demands for them. (BTW - there is no such thing as "Gouging")
Here are our Sources of Energy:
1) The Sun (solar, drives wind, hydro, carbon-based..)
2) Nuclear Fission
(and sadly, some believe, 5) Politicians)
Everything else is a form, or farm, for potenital or kinetic energies derived therefrom.
Nuclear is the most fantastic source we could tap into immediately - but Liberals always fight it tooth and nail. But, WHY?
We have a myriad of sources and technologies at our disposal right now - we collectively make billions of choices (invesments) daily which the marketplace responds to and opitimally satisfies.
Here are our biggest threats:
1) Rogue nations with nuclear weapons
2) Open borders and unmitigated insurgent invasions
3) Totalitarian Government "solutions" to save us
4) Unlimited masses of economically-illiterate poeples of whom politicans can ultimately prey
5) Liberal whack-jobs
9) Rogue Asteroids
Are you planning to go to South America?
I was at a bookstore yesterday and there was a fabulous book of photography which explored the entire Andes range from Equador down to Cape Horn. The pictures were absolutely astonishing. South America is a beautiful place.
As for myself, I live in Florida and am surrounded on three sides by water twice over (because I live on a peninsula located on Florida's peninsula). I was walking alone the coast of Tampa Bay today and observed five manatees in the water. There's too much beauty here to abandon the place.
The sad thing about Florida is that the natural beauty which existed in the state has become nearly eradicated by the state's 16+ million human inhabitants. Forests and wetlands are disappearing daily and what is left is only the smallest fragments of Nature. Suburbs and shopping centers and automobiles and obese, stressed humans everywhere.
When observing the mess which is modern technological civilization and comparing it to what existed here before (as recently as a century or less ago), there are substantial reasons to doubt the claim that Homo sapiens are an intelligent animal.
It is terrible to realize that after America has destroyed its environment the insatiable appetites of Americans are now destroying Canada's pristine North and Nigeria's delta and Iraq's civilization.
The price of a hundred years of technology, prosperity, luxury and leisure is ten thousand years of ecological catastrophe and a million years of natural evolution to replace all those species that humans have driven extinct. Homo sapiens are worse than fools, the species is a global natural catastrophe.
> "Prices are not a evil capitalistic plot, they are simply the most-efficient mechanism for balancing supplies of resources with demands for them."
Here is one of the primary lies of capitalism. Prices are not an effective or adequate means of balancing supply and demand. The price of oil does not accurately reflect the true costs of oil production & consumption. The price of automobiles and driving is also highly subsidized.
Secondarily, the price of oil does not distribute oil fairly on a global basis. Obese self-indulgent America consumes 25% of the world's daily oil production. Do you suppose that it is proper for 300 million people to consume 25% of such a vital resource? The only way that America's obesity is possible is because there are billions of impoverished, starving, deprived people who simply are excluded from consideration.
Thirdly, the price of oil also fails to reflect the billions of dollars that America spends imposing colonial-style control over the Middle East. Nor is money the most valuable asset which is spent in these military adventures: 3,000 American soldiers have died and 150,000 Iraqi civilians have also died. We have cheap gaoline only because blood is cheaper.
Finally, the price of oil is kept unnaturally low because the pollution & ecological devastation that the industry creates. For example, the oil industry is leaving a desolate moonscape in Canada. If the oil industry was forced to clean up its mess the tar sands production would become prohibitively expensive and therefore cease to exist -- as it should.
The free market is not God, contrary to all claims otherwise. The free market is destroying the Earth and driving Homo sapiens to extinction.
Fascinating topic. What strikes me more than anything else is the gleeful tone leftists take in proclaiming that we are running out of oil. We're always running out of everything according to the left. Seattle's goofball mayor actually thinks we don't have enough trees. I've been listening to this garbage for over thirty years and it's pure nonesense.
I wonder how lefties would react if they suddenly were transported back in time to, say, 1920. Houses were mostly heated with wood, or coal. Many still cooked on wood-fired stoves. Look at an old photograph of Seattle or any other city...the air isn't exactly clear. Steamboats loped down Puget Sound with black coal or oil smoke pouring out of their stacks, and there were lots of them. Locomotives spewed coal and oil smoke as well. Raw sewage was dumped directly into Lake Washington and the Sound as was industrial waste. Leftists will never admit it but technology and innovation have come a long way in the past 90 years. They're too busy creating fear and negativity so they can "save" us.
In the meantime, the price of a barrel of crude oil dropped today 4.7%.
If you limit the context to merely *today* and *your own neighborhood* it is possible to delude yourself that everything is ok. But I live on a planet inhabited by 6.5 billion humans and millions of other species. I also live within the context of the 4,000,000,000-year-old history of life on this planet and the 6,000-year-old history of human civilization.
The Earth is suffering globally from humankind's abuse and pollution. Billions of humans are suffering impoverishment, deprivement, oppression and exploitation.
All of the Earth's resources are displaying evidence of strain-beyond-nature's-capacity and the human population keeps on expanding up to 9,000,000,000 people within the next century.
What we have here is a recipe for an apocalypse which will make St. John's revelation look like a picnic. It is altogether possible that billions of humans will die horrendously in the future because of the excesses, wastefulness and pollution generated by today's generation.
There are plenty of catastrophes which are poised to fall upon our species in a major way in the 21st century. The Ten Plagues which afflicted Egypt will all seem like blessings compared to the plagues which will afflict humankind over the next century.
These horrors are not speculative. Look at the tragedies which already afflict more than a billion humans worldwide right now. If all these things are allowed to occur during our present age of oil and technology imagine for a moment what must happen when the oil is depleted and technology fails.
You will know the oil is about to run out when you see Shell, Mobile, BP and all the rest announce shocking break-throughs in hydrogen production and remarkably simple transformation of the distribution/delivery system.
Do you think for a second these multi-national giants are just going to close up shop when the easy oil runs out?
Have you ever considered exactly how many trillions of dollars it would cost to convert the oil industry to the the Hydrogen industry? You are not merely deluded, you are engaging in an insane fantasy of techno-salvation.
Don't you know that decades ago when the 21st century was the distant future there were all sorts of promises of human bases on the moon and Mars? Yeah ... we walked on the moon and that was all the evidence that Americans needed to believe that technology could accomplish impossible things.
Now the problems that humankind faces in the 21st century are a little more serious than the lack of human bases on the moon and Mars. America's problems are a little more serious than converting 200-million oil-powered machines to hydrogen-power.
Here is the problem for all who are bold enough to contemplate it: Within the next several decades the Earth is going to acquire its nine-billionth human while at the same time the world's food production cannot possibly sustain eight billion humans. Do you know what happens when the Earth has a billion more humans than it can feed? It's not called "the Apocalypse" for nothing.
Americans are going to lose our oil imports, our cars, our freedom, our consumer lifestyle, and even our obesity. The path from "a car in every garage" to "no food at the grocery store" will prove extremely harsh for Americans. The strain of the conversion from false-prosperity to real-poverty will likely provoke Americans to acts of violence which will make today's Iraq appear like a peaceful country.
I believe that we are going to live long enough to witness the collapse of the United States of America with our own eyes. We might watch it on FOX News and then look through the windows and see the end of America with our own eyes.
America is a foolish country simply because Americans really do believe that God guarantee's our Way of Life. "God cannot let America run out of oil, but if America does run out of oil, God will provide hydrogen or some other alternative to keep us driving our SUVs!" What Americans fail to realize is that God is thoroughly disgusted by America's gluttony, obesity, self-indulgence, greed, and militarism.
David Mathews wrote:
You have faith in market in the same sense that a Christian has faith in God. "The market will provide" is an analogous promise to "God will provide".
So then, who will provide, if not the market? The government? The SAME GOVERNMENT that relies upon the free market for funding?
You have a great deal of faith in the free market but there is plenty of suffering on the Earth during this era of free market dominance.
In countries that do not allow a free market, yes there is suffering. Having been on all 7 continents and in 84 countries - including the poorest nations on earth - there's an unambiguous correlation between the welfare of the populace and the freedom of the same populace.
100 years ago, a life span to 65 was remarkable; now it's remarkable if you DON'T live to 75. We can find and cure more diseases than ever before. People that used to be "left behind" because of poor eyesight/hearing/physical deformities are now functioning - and contributing members of society.
There's a LOT less suffering today than there was 100 years ago... The lifespans, the number of people employed as physical laborers, the convenience even the poorest among us have all show it to be true. No 3 day journies to the doctor. No worrying of a hard freeze ruining all your food for the winter, leaving you and your family to starve.
The free market does not provide food to the people of Zimbabwe nor can it restore Haiti's former forests.
Of course, the intellectually honest person would also readily admit that neither Zimbabwe or Haiti (and I have been to the latter, for 4 weeks with a medical team) are free market countries.
Do we have the same problems in the US? In Europe? In Canada? In Japan? In Chile, Australia, etc.?
Having worked with Chinese companies for 15 years - and actually LIVING there for 3 months out of each year - I can tell you that the average Chinese citizen in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, and other cities are MUCH better off than 15 years ago. The standard of living is higher, health care is better, there is more food, and the pollution is actually less. 15 years ago you couldn't see more than 500m in Shanghai or Guangzhou because of the pollution... Now it's rare that smog obscures views beyond 2000m... I'll send you pictures when I return from three weeks over there in February. Chinese New Year is always a blast!
Even with more people living there. Efficiency of living, efficiency of the FREE MARKET that's slowly coming into China is changing that society. There is talk among the factory owners, the population, even the media of the issues of pollution, and how to control it. Paint booths that used to be large open-air rooms with a dozen men with HVHP spray guns are now carefully controlled, filtered air in AND out, HVLP guns, water-traps for vapors where it is recycled.
See, when people start to EARN more money, they get more leisure time. And they want to enjoy finer things in life. They don't want their car, apartment, or clothes covered in soot. So they move to where it's nice. Owners of buildings take note, and do what they can to improve their lot. Likewise with owners of factories - they invest more to make them cleaner because it not only improves the conditions for the workers in the factory - less downtime from sickness means improved productivity - but makes it a better place for the owner to work as well.
Not to mention that REDUCING WASTE reduces your costs. Provably. Reduce overspray from your spray guns, and use a gallon of finish on 50 speaker cabinets, rather than 30. Use a waterjet cutting system and not only capture airborne dust, but have less scrap because of the narrow kerf. Use CNC presses and you have fewer rejected parts. And so on...
Chinese factories are heavily modernizing not because of the cost of labor - it's still dirt cheap to hire people there. They're heavily modernizing - in some instances going fully automated - because of the savings in scrap and waste. Which only helps the environment.
The free market cannot possible restore all of the pollution which fossil fuels have inflicted upon the Earth, nor can it bring an extinct species back from the dead.
The free market - and the most advanced nations - seem to do the least amount of polluting IF YOU LOOK AT IT HONESTLY. Which means based upon the output of the country - what it contributes to the world economy. Free market doesn't mean destroy everything, it means manage your resources wisely to maximize your return. MANAGE and MAXIMIZE. Go hand in hand.
As far as extinctions go? How many species went extinct prior to the Industrial Revolution? Or even prior to the Romans? Wooly Mammoths, saber tooth tigers, heck entire BRANCHES like the dinosaurs wiped out...
Homo sapiens are the worst possible animal to ever dominate a living planet. Humans have transformed the living Earth into humankind's sewer. Nature suffers but Nature is patient. Nature will exterminate the human pest.
Excellent! Here you show your TRUE HAND.
So, if we're a pest, destroying the world, then why are YOU personally destroying the world? I mean, you're using a computer - loaded with plastics and chemicals, oil-based through and through. Using power, presumably from a dam if you're in the NW. You're probably wearing man-made fabrics in your clothes, sitting in a building with man-made materials all around, petroleum based paints and shingles, warmed with nasty dam-sourced electricity or - heaven forbid! - evil natural gas.
I think - if you want to condemn us for being the worst animal, for turning the earth into a sewer, the only intellectually responsible options would be:
1. Forsake anything man-made, or invented prior to the bronze era, and move into a cave
2. Eliminate your own personal drain on the Earth by, well, ceasing your existence.
I cannot believe you're willing to do either one of these, so your pontificating about how we're so evil is really just a shallow attempt to wrest control of society from the current "holders" and reform it as your own little utopia!
What are YOU doing to better the earth? What do YOU do to reduce suffering in the world? What do you do to try to reduce your environmental impact?
South America is a beautiful place.
Yes it is, which is why I own a condo in Vina del Mar, Chile. Terra Sol building, unit 1205. Right on the beach, beautiful views from every room or the decks. I love it down there!
Thankfully Chile stopped the Marxist takeover (Pinochet acted with the FULL APPROVAL of the Chilean Congress AND the Chilean Supreme Court - the leftists always forget that part about Pinochet's overthrow of Allende) and turned out to be perhaps the most capitalistic society in the world. Even more so than the US.
Strip-mining has been greatly reduced. Farming techniques VASTLY improved. The way fish are farmed and harvested, the way ocean trawlers operate, the way produce is grown, all MUCH more environmentally sensitive than 40 years ago.
All the while the country improved. You can now drink the tap-water just about anywhere without worry. There aren't open sewers. People manage their own retirement accounts, home ownership is up, the middle class is growing, and the standard of living is leaps and bounds better than 40 years ago. The number of destitute is greatly reduced, there is strong national pride, and the general populace is VERY optimistic about where they are going. They're thinking about the future, not where they're going to get tomorrow's meals...
Want a great place to retire? Go to coastal Chile, between Valparaiso and Con Con. For $2500 a month you can live like a king - 100 square meter ocean-view apartment, great food (eating out 4-5 times a week), maid service 3 days a week, friendly people, exemplary justice system, open banking laws, and low taxes.
Yep, it's now a capitalist's mecca!
Make no mistake, as the oil production levels drop, the oil companies will become more profitable than ever, and will continue to while they can find any oil. Their profits are not linked to the volume of oil alone, it is related to the volume and price. The price will go up faster than the volume drops. There are huge profits to be made. Oil price will become a supplier driven price.
The only thing the oil companies will need to worry about in a post-peak scenario is the governments taking over the oil companies as is already happening on some countries.
Thanks David Mathews for once again proving that we don't have to make stuff up about the left.
My suggestion? Keep a copy of your "we're on the verge of doom" posts from this thread for 20-years. You might be a bit embarrased re-reading them when your predictions haven't come true.
> So then, who will provide, if not the market? The government? The SAME GOVERNMENT that relies upon the free market for funding?
I don't have confidence in either the free market or the government. I am certain that humankind has made a bargain with the devil to gain this level of prosperity and for that future generations of humans will inherit Hell-on-Earth.
> In countries that do not allow a free market, yes there is suffering. Having been on all 7 continents and in 84 countries - including the poorest nations on earth - there's an unambiguous correlation between the welfare of the populace and the freedom of the same populace.
You have travelled much but learned little. Perhaps you only saw what you wanted to see or otherwise you only associated yourself with those who have benefited from the free market at the expense of the general population & environment.
The Free Market is powerful but not so powerful as your suppose. The Free Market cannot grant every human an American lifestyle. The Free Market is having a really tough time maintaining the American lifestyle itself, as our government has amassed more than a trillion dollars in debt in the 21st century.
The Free Market Benefits the few at the expense of the many, and it benefits all at the expense of nature, and it benefits the present generation at the expense of future generations. If you haven't noticed this it is only because you are profiting from the crime and therefore only see your benefits.
> 100 years ago, a life span to 65 was remarkable; now it's remarkable if you DON'T live to 75. We can find and cure more diseases than ever before. People that used to be "left behind" because of poor eyesight/hearing/physical deformities are now functioning - and contributing members of society.
But what will the lifespan be in a hundred years? You are looking at present benefits but not counting future costs.
> There's a LOT less suffering today than there was 100 years ago... The lifespans, the number of people employed as physical laborers, the convenience even the poorest among us have all show it to be true. No 3 day journies to the doctor. No worrying of a hard freeze ruining all your food for the winter, leaving you and your family to starve.
For Americans and the Prosperous, Yes, but not for everyone. There are 6.5 billion humans, you seem to overlook at least 25% of them.
> Of course, the intellectually honest person would also readily admit that neither Zimbabwe or Haiti (and I have been to the latter, for 4 weeks with a medical team) are free market countries.
Are you suggesting that the Free Market really could solve the problems of Zimbabwe and Haiti? If so, you are dreaming. The Free Market could care less about the health & well being of the world's impoverished people.
> Having worked with Chinese companies for 15 years - and actually LIVING there for 3 months out of each year - I can tell you that the average Chinese citizen in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, and other cities are MUCH better off than 15 years ago. The standard of living is higher, health care is better, there is more food, and the pollution is actually less. 15 years ago you couldn't see more than 500m in Shanghai or Guangzhou because of the pollution... Now it's rare that smog obscures views beyond 2000m... I'll send you pictures when I return from three weeks over there in February. Chinese New Year is always a blast!
Well, that's some remarkable news that you have here. I have heard the opposite. I have heard of Chinese cities choking with smog and the health of the Chinese suffering. But certainly the Chinese are becoming wealthier and they have become as addicted to consumerism as the Americans.
Do you know that if China ever consumed oil at the same per capita rate as America the Chinese would consume the entire world's daily oil production?
I suppose that China's increasing demand for oil will put some upward pressure on the price of oil. Chinese demand might also seriously limit America's supply of oil, too.
> Even with more people living there. Efficiency of living, efficiency of the FREE MARKET that's slowly coming into China is changing that society. There is talk among the factory owners, the population, even the media of the issues of pollution, and how to control it.
Now you contradict yourself. You painted a glorious picture of China's progress in the quote above and now you burst your own bubble by mentioning that the Chinese want to contol pollution. Well, you cannot have pristine air and the Chinese concerned about pollution at the same time, can you?
> Chinese factories are heavily modernizing not because of the cost of labor - it's still dirt cheap to hire people there.
Are you concerned at all about Chinese impoverishment or is this simply an opportunity for exploitation by Western corporations?
> The free market - and the most advanced nations - seem to do the least amount of polluting IF YOU LOOK AT IT HONESTLY. Which means based upon the output of the country - what it contributes to the world economy. Free market doesn't mean destroy everything, it means manage your resources wisely to maximize your return. MANAGE and MAXIMIZE. Go hand in hand.
No, you are seriously mistaken. The United States of America is the world's greatest polluter and yet we have outsourced most of our polluting industries to Third World countries which lack environmental regulations. The Free Market is doing something pretty horrendous on the Earth, this much is certain.
>So, if we're a pest, destroying the world, then why are YOU personally destroying the world? I mean, you're using a computer - loaded with plastics and chemicals, oil-based through and through. Using power, presumably from a dam if you're in the NW. You're probably wearing man-made fabrics in your clothes, sitting in a building with man-made materials all around, petroleum based paints and shingles, warmed with nasty dam-sourced electricity or - heaven forbid! - evil natural gas.
The lifestyle that I live is not the lifestyle that I would choose if I had perfect freedom. The Free Market imposes the American Way of Life upon me. If I rejected this lifestyle certainly I would have no choice except to die.
>1. Forsake anything man-made, or invented prior to the bronze era, and move into a cave
>2. Eliminate your own personal drain on the Earth by, well, ceasing your existence.
If the problem was just my own existence these might serve as valid solutions. But this problem includes all of humankind and especially 300 million Americans.
Since this is a problem in the species Homo sapiens the only valid solutions operate on the species-level. Since there is no hope whatsoever that Homo sapiens will abandon human nature it is evident that option #2 must occur. Extinction will eliminate Homo sapiens from the Earth and bring an end to all of this violence, destructiveness, and global-scale pollution.
>What are YOU doing to better the earth? What do YOU do to reduce suffering in the world? What do you do to try to reduce your environmental impact?
What I do on behalf of the Earth is a bit more complicated than you might imagine. But this is not a matter worthy of discussion because I am only one person and we are here speaking about the misbehavior of 6.5 billion humans.
>Go to coastal Chile, between Valparaiso and Con Con. For $2500 a month you can live like a king - 100 square meter ocean-view apartment, great food (eating out 4-5 times a week), maid service 3 days a week, friendly people, exemplary justice system, open banking laws, and low taxes.
When you say that it is possible to live like a king for $2,500 a month in Chile you are revealing something terrible about that country's condition. But certainly you are not aware of what you are saying. Your prosperity isolates you from the reality on the ground.
How do the Chileans live? Are they impoverished? Do you care if they are impoverished? Or is your only contact with them is in the master-servant relationship?
David Mathews said:
Homo sapiens are worse than fools, the species is a global natural catastrophe.
Do us all a favor. May I suggest you start by eliminating yourself as soon as possible.
Yeah - There seems to be a doom-and-gloom leftist born every minute.. (any many of them have gravitated to this thread)
Their incessant hand-wringing would be laughable, were their congenital obsessions of forcing all of us into their Liberal schemes (at gun-point ultimately) not so utterly tragic..
If you want to disagree with the viewpoint expressed, disagree. Would you say that humans have made the Earth a better place?
Really, now, are you suggesting that humans have made the Earth a better place?
Come on, man, seriously: Are you claiming that humans have made the world a better place?
David Mathews at #78, "The Free Market imposes the American Way of Life upon me."
For which you should be thankful every day.
I guess I have to ask the question David. What way of life would you "impose" on us?
I've just gotta know.
Here's an oil alternative which is about as likely as Hydrogen-power, "Yogic Flying Eases Commute":
Notice the traffic jam that the lady is hovering over. That is what you people are defending. That is the glorified American Way of Life.
The Yogic Flying is humorous and ironic. Lucky that this technology has appeared right now. But evidently it is not necessary because the price of oil dropped to $58 a barrel today.
Problem solved. No need for hydrogen power or any other alternative. Americans can keep on driving and add more pounds of fat to their obesity. Everything is fine. Everything will be ok.
We all know that everything will be fine and ok. Follow the President's recent wise advice: "Go shopping!"
No, I am not thankful for the manner of life with American capitalism imposes upon me. I think that the American Way of Life is ideally suited to passive, lazy, obese, materialistic, and easily manipulated people. Have you ever gone down to the mall to observe Americans in their natural habitat? It is not a pretty sight. These obese, perpetually-hungry Americans desperate to acquire something else to give their empty lives a transient glimmer of meaning.
The American Way of Life is so horrendous that Americans are increasing turning to drugs (both legal, prescribed and illegal) in order to alleviate their despondency. Americans are also stressed out and prone to violence because life on a treadmill naturally leads to these outcomes.
The American Way of Life is also killing Iraqis by the thousands. I cannot take too much confort in the rising DOW while the bodybags in Bagdhad are also rising. 150,000 Iraqis have died, and for what? So I could fill my tank for $2.24 a gallon today.
>I guess I have to ask the question David. What way of life would you "impose" on us?
I would impose nothing upon you or anyone else. I encourage Americans to continue living like fools so that this country can collapse. I encourage humankind to continue behaving like a plague so that the species can go mercifully extinct.
I'm not opposed to the extinction of Homo sapiens. It appears like an appropriate punishment for all the crimes that humankind has already committed against Nature and also for the species' extreme violence which has progressed from club to proliferating nuclear weapons.
Nature existed successful for billions of years without us. Nature will do very well for billions of years after Homo sapiens are gone.
So I give you the President's wisdom: Go Shopping!
Humans need not do anything at this point. Nature has a viable solution to the human problem.
David Mathews at #84, "I'm not opposed to the extinction of Homo sapiens."
You read it here, folks.
Are you opposed to the extinction of Homo sapiens?
Your lifestyle would seem to contradict that claim. Don't you know that polluting the Earth and depleting the Earth's resources are actions which have very real and tragic consequences?
Americans are concerned about prosperity and profits but no one is looking out for the health & well-being of future generations of Americans. Americans want to consume everything now and they will let the children live with the mess which results.
These are not behaviors which are compatible with the survival of the species.
There are plenty of evidence that present-day luxuries are taking precedence over future-necessities. A government which cares about the future certainly would never accumulate $8,600,000,000,000 in debt. Nor -- for that matter -- would it invent the nuclear bomb, a weapon which America used to vaporize over 100,000 civilians and now absolutely terrifies Americans. Maybe our emotional response to nuclear proliferation is an expression of national guilt for the crimes against humanity committed by The Greatest Generation.
If Homo sapiens really wanted to survive, prosper and endure on the Earth certainly the species would not burden the planet with 6.5 to 9 billion humans, included among them a particularly ravenous form of human called "The Obese American Hyperconsumer and World Polluter".
If you were opposed to the extinction of Homo sapiens certainly you would live differently. But you really do not care about the survival of the species, do you?
"Are you opposed to the extinction of Homo sapiens? Your lifestyle would seem to contradict that claim."
Just for that remark I'm going to relax later with a martini, put my feet up and watch some college football. Then I'm going to eat some stuffed pork chops.
David nicely demonstrates his humanist arrogance, not to mention rank narcissism, and deftly illustrates why the whackjob left is literally so dangerous. He seems to actually believe the bilious fantasy he spews - which shows an advanced level of mental illness - or self-delusion.
Mr. Mathews, please show some backbone, back up your death-cult Faith, and do Mommy Earth the ultimate favor by eliminating yourself in the near future. Lead by example! (and hopefully the lemmings will follow it..)
Do you own a car? What kind of fuel do you put in it?
Hey, it sounds like you're having a bad day, perhaps life.. Is there some traumatic encounter with a Conservative that put your panties in such a bunch? Did someone "gouge" you somewhere along the line (so to speak) - Come on, let's talk it out.. so we can all feel better.
89. Liberalism is a mental disease.
I'm watching the football game. Is the question too difficult?
Do you take any responsibility for the impact of your actions & lifestyle upon the Earth?
Have you spent any time at all thinking about what sort of consequences might result from your actions & lifestyle?
Several years ago, I was speaking to a man whose personality differed very little from your own. When I mentioned all of these consequences he said, "Who cares? I'll be dead by then."
This, I believe, is the overriding irresponsible attitude which governs America's lack of response to resource depletion, pollution, environmental degradation and overpopulation. Americans simply don't care about the future survival of the species.
The Free Market profits from the destruction of Nature. The Free Market preserves the bottom line by polluting the Earth without remorse. While America's wealth increases the Earth's health descreases.
Homo sapiens ranks as a walking-dead, species specifically for this reason: If it is more profitable to go extinct than it is to survive, Homo sapiens will certainly go extinct.
But this is not a hopeless message: Nature will survive the human plague. Life will flourish in the full flower of its diversity for billions of years after Homo sapiens are gone.
Because of this hope, I can give you the best sort of advice: Keep on Shopping!
Nature has a solution to the human problem. I cannot object to Nature's wisdom in this matter. Billions of species have already gone extinct, the loss of one primate species is no great loss to the Universe.
And what is God's opinion regarding the extinction of Homo sapiens?
"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent and thought of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and he was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, 'I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land ... for I am sorry that I have made them.'" (Genesis 6:5-7).
When I said that I am in favor of Homo sapiens going extinct, I am only saying what God has already said a long time ago. Since the flood, humans have only gotten worse, and since the Industrial Revolution, our violence and destructiveness have reached truly global proportions.
God knows that the human experiment has failed and He agrees with Nature's decision to allow the Earth's most violent animal to go extinct. Billions of species have already travelled down this path, Homo sapiens are just one animal among those billions.
I know that you cannot engage in any sort of serious discussion about these matters. I'd be astonished if you could see beyond the end of your own nose. You don't possess the sort of wisdom which would allow you to plan for humankind's future over the next several decades and centuries.
My advice to you comes straight from your President: Go Shopping!
Consumerism is Citizenship in 21st Century America!
92. I love asking this question to the David Mathews of the world: If you were king, how would you have us live? In teepees perhaps, or mud huts? Would there be running water? Would we have to hunt our dinners every afternoon with spears? Would we crap in a hole in the ground? Would we live beyond 30? Oops, I forgot, you don't want us to live at all. Sorry, my mistake.
You ask a good question. There is only one manner of life for humankind that was acceptable to both God and Nature:
"And the man and his wife were both naked and unashamed." (Genesis 2:25).
Don't you know that in this ideal state, "naked and unashamed", Homo sapiens were merely an animal immersed in Nature -- without home, possessions, technologies, luxuries, or anything else which modern humans have invented and accumulated.
God and humans were at peace while Homo sapiens remained an animal among the animals. Humans broke this bond when the species chose the anti-natural path which has led to the present level of devastation and pollution throughout this Earth.
God never approved of this tragic path that humankind has so foolishly chosen.
Now what choices are available to humankind? This is the question which you are actually asking.
And the answer is dismal: There are no other paths available to humankind. The unfolding tragedy is now out of humankind's hands.
Nature has demanded to resolve the human problem and God has granted Nature both the power and responsibility to resolve the human problem. The Homo sapiens have chosen the path of extinction so that is exactly what the species shall receive.
For that reason, I encourage you to not do anything at all. Continue living like an American and the future will take care of itself. Peace comes to those who live peacefully, but humans aren't peaceful.
"Peace comes to those who live peacefully, but humans aren't peaceful."
Neither are lions, tigers, bears, whales, or kitty cats. David, give us some examples of species that live "peacefully". Just for some more fun.
Lions, tigers, bears, whales and kitty cats are all peace-loving saints compared to Homo sapiens. We know this intuitively and this is one reason why we spend so much money on protection against human violence in the form of the Police, the FBI, and the military.
Certainly, the world is not spending $1 trillion a year on militaries because of fear of lions, tigers, bears, whales and kitty cats. There only one animal on the Earth which is so dangerous as to merit this much protection expense: Homo sapiens.
Not only are humans the most violent animal to have ever inhabited the Earth, humans are violent against Nature in an absolute sense. The best example of this full-spectrum violence against Nature is on display at your local parking lot: In an area which was formerly living and filled with a vast diversity of life there is now a lifeless desolate wasteland covered with asphalt and our pollution. You see, humans don't merely kill all forms of life which formerly inhabited the land, humans render the land sterile and engage in a perpetual fight to keep life off that land.
Such is the extent of humankind's violent insanity. Any objective non-human intelligence observing the Earth would conclude that Homo sapiens hate life altogether, including human life. Such is the global extent and depth of our depraved violence.
Humans are so extremely violent that we have accumulated an arsenel of sufficient violent potential that it could easily exterminate humankind from the Earth. Nuclear weapons only exist for to kill and terrorize mass populations of humankind. 20,000 of them are sufficient to destroy human life from the Earth forever.
Finally, humans are so extrordinarily violent that our actions have driven uncountable thousands of species to extinction and threaten to bring that same fate upon Homo sapiens. Ecological damage, global pollution and climate change are just the sort of ingredients that could easily wipe humankind off the face of the Earth.
The lions, tigers, bears, whales and kitty cats have done none of these things. All of these animals are tame compared to Homo sapiens.
If humans were only as violent as the animals, I would not complain. Unfortunately, humans are at least a billion times more violent than the animals. For that reason humankind's extinction is both inevitable and inescapable.
"If along a small and ordinary cliff
I need to pick my way with special care,
what need I speak of the immense crevasse
that plunges down, unnumbered fathoms deep?
"'Today, at least, I shall not die,'
so rash to lull myself with words like these!
My dissolution and my hour of death
will come upon me ineluctably."
(Shantideva. The Way of the Bodhisattva)
96. We don't have to make this stuff up.
Well Mr. Mathews, there's quite a bit of stuff to correct, but I'll address a couple:
I wrote:Even with more people living there. Efficiency of living, efficiency of the FREE MARKET that's slowly coming into China is changing that society. There is talk among the factory owners, the population, even the media of the issues of pollution, and how to control it.
You responded: Now you contradict yourself. You painted a glorious picture of China's progress in the quote above and now you burst your own bubble by mentioning that the Chinese want to contol pollution. Well, you cannot have pristine air and the Chinese concerned about pollution at the same time, can you?
No, you're not understanding what I thought was clearly spelled out. You know, here in the US we talk about pollution, does that mean we're living in a festering pit of garbage? No, we're working to clean it up even further. 50 years ago, Lake Washington was literally a sewage pool. Now it's nice and clean. And there's talk of cleaning it further.
Likewise in China, things HAVE gotten better, and now there's more talk about how to make it even better! A bit of progress got many hooked and they want to go further.
I wrote: Chinese factories are heavily modernizing not because of the cost of labor - it's still dirt cheap to hire people there.
And you responded: Are you concerned at all about Chinese impoverishment or is this simply an opportunity for exploitation by Western corporations?
You don't follow. In China, you can live a middle-class lifestyle on ~6500RMB per month. That's around $830 USD. The cost of living in China is a LOT lower than in the US. That amount will pay for your 2 bedroom apartment, provide all the clothes you can wear (clothes are a LOT cheaper in China), allow you to eat out a couple of times a week, pay for your cell phone, and cover most of your transportation costs. Won't own a car, but the license for a car is 10,000RMB anyway, and few want to pay 6 weeks of income just for the license.
See, the costs to live in China aren't NEARLY as high as in the US. You fall into the trap of thinking that if you want to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, you need to make as much as you do in the US.
Do you think you could live a middle-class lifestyle in the US on $20,000 per year? In some places, you could. In others, not a chance. See, costs of living aren't constant!
I wrote: >Go to coastal Chile, between Valparaiso and Con Con. For $2500 a month you can live like a king - 100 square meter ocean-view apartment, great food (eating out 4-5 times a week), maid service 3 days a week, friendly people, exemplary justice system, open banking laws, and low taxes.
You responded: When you say that it is possible to live like a king for $2,500 a month in Chile you are revealing something terrible about that country's condition. But certainly you are not aware of what you are saying. Your prosperity isolates you from the reality on the ground.
How do the Chileans live? Are they impoverished? Do you care if they are impoverished? Or is your only contact with them is in the master-servant relationship?
A middle-class person in Chile makes around $8,000 per year, US (around 4,240,000 pesos). That will afford a clean 3 bedroom apartment, a small car (they're all small!), good clothing, healthcare, good food, enough to eat out 2-3 times a week, and you could have your wife live at home. Add another $1,000 per year and you could put a couple of kids through private school, too...
My reality is that when I am down there, I walk to the local street market 2-3 times a week to shop with the locals. I buy a kg of lamb for 300 pesos (around $0.60). I buy a half-dozen BIG (we're talking softball sized) avacados for 500 pesos (under a buck). A dozen 250 gram steaks (8 ounces each) run around 800 pesos - less than $1.60.
See, again the cost of living is LOW. It's not expensive like in Florida where you live, or Edmonds where I live. A house here is $700,000. An oceanfront condo in Vina del Mar - the most upscale resort town in Chile - is $120,000 for an 1800 square foot, 3 bedroom spread. A BIG difference.
Do you follow now? Costs of living aren't fixed. You're coming from the "fixed pie" model, where if I make a buck, someone else must have lost a buck. When in fact, it's usually the case that when I make a buck, someone else makes a buck as well... It's added to the economy. The economy is NOT a zero sum game!
Oh, and about the American Lifestyle being imposed on you, ya know it's just a short trip to Cuba or Haiti... You could emigrate you know, reduce your footprint on Mother Nature... I mean, if you're really serious about that which you espouse here!
David Mathews posted:
The lions, tigers, bears, whales and kitty cats have done none of these things. All of these animals are tame compared to Homo sapiens.
If humans were only as violent as the animals, I would not complain. Unfortunately, humans are at least a billion times more violent than the animals. For that reason humankind's extinction is both inevitable and inescapable.
No, lions, tigers, bears, wolves, are all as violent - I would argue MORE violent - than humans. Much more so. Ever see two male lions in a single pride? Or how wolves will turn on each other? Or been in Alaska and see bears kill salmon for the sake of killing, not even eating what they kill?
We're just more efficient at acting out on our violent nature, but at least we tend to control it a LOT better. If we were as violent as lions or bears there would be a LOT fewer people, and a lot less progress...
> No, you're not understanding what I thought was clearly spelled out. You know, here in the US we talk about pollution, does that mean we're living in a festering pit of garbage? No, we're working to clean it up even further. 50 years ago, Lake Washington was literally a sewage pool. Now it's nice and clean. And there's talk of cleaning it further.
Lake Washington was a festering sewer because of the operation of the Free Market. Only strenuous political action by the public cleaned that mess up, but the vast majority of people in this world lack this sort of political power. This is one of the major reasons why multinational corproations have located their industrial operations to the Third World.
> Likewise in China, things HAVE gotten better, and now there's more talk about how to make it even better! A bit of progress got many hooked and they want to go further.
China's environment is not getting any better according to the sources that I consult. You are deluding yourself with a false hope.
> You don't follow. In China, you can live a middle-class lifestyle on ~6500RMB per month. That's around $830 USD. The cost of living in China is a LOT lower than in the US. That amount will pay for your 2 bedroom apartment, provide all the clothes you can wear (clothes are a LOT cheaper in China), allow you to eat out a couple of times a week, pay for your cell phone, and cover most of your transportation costs. Won't own a car, but the license for a car is 10,000RMB anyway, and few want to pay 6 weeks of income just for the license.
The vast majority of Chinese don't earn $830 a month. There are between 500 - 900 million Chinese who are earning less than $1 a day.
The sort of life which you are describing as "acceptable" for the Chinese describes abject poverty in America. Do you think so little of the Chinese that you consider this sort of poverty a good thing? Is that the best that capitalism can do for the Chinese?
> See, the costs to live in China aren't NEARLY as high as in the US. You fall into the trap of thinking that if you want to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, you need to make as much as you do in the US.
Well, do you consider this expensive Middle-Class lifestyle an entitlement of the Americans? Does God and the Constitution guarantee this sort of lifestyle to the American citizens simply because they were fortunate enough to be born here instead of China, Mexico or Nigeria?
> A middle-class person in Chile makes around $8,000 per year, US (around 4,240,000 pesos). That will afford a clean 3 bedroom apartment, a small car (they're all small!), good clothing, healthcare, good food, enough to eat out 2-3 times a week, and you could have your wife live at home. Add another $1,000 per year and you could put a couple of kids through private school, too...
Capitalism isn't benefiting the Chileans so very much, then, I see. Do you believe that the Chileans are deserving of less than the obese Americans? Does God expect the Chileans to remain content with "enough" while at the same time demand that the Americans always consume more, more, MORE!
> See, again the cost of living is LOW. It's not expensive like in Florida where you live, or Edmonds where I live. A house here is $700,000. An oceanfront condo in Vina del Mar - the most upscale resort town in Chile - is $120,000 for an 1800 square foot, 3 bedroom spread. A BIG difference.
You really don't get it, do you? Are the Chileans wealthy enough to afford these villas or are these properties only inexpensive to well-heeled Americans who passively enjoy their wealth while the peasants ought to remain content with "enough"?
You are selling capitalism short if you insist that the Chileans remain content with nearly-nothing while you trample all over the Earth with your obese American appetite.
> The economy is NOT a zero sum game!
Here is a major lie of capitalism. Within the context of the short-term capitalism is a positive-sum game but within the long-term global context capitalism is a negative-sum game. By living a life of consumerist gluttony you are in effect stealing from your children and grandchildren and the biosphere of the Earth.
Many people are impoverished on your behalf. Yet you can justify your own gluttonous excess because these billions of people simply don't matter to you and the future is irrelevant to you.
>Oh, and about the American Lifestyle being imposed on you, ya know it's just a short trip to Cuba or Haiti... You could emigrate you know, reduce your footprint on Mother Nature... I mean, if you're really serious about that which you espouse here!
I need not emigrate to these places because I know that the United States of America is poised to collapse. What this means is that Cuba and Haiti are coming here. Do your remember how poor the Soviets became when their empire collapsed? America will become even poorer than that. We're not just losing our empire, we are going to lose the entire world.
Too bad for America but this is a just fate for such a foolish, gluttonous, wasteful, obese country.
I think your post was in response to humanity failing to meets some strange fantasy of your own rather than anything approaching an accurate or even rational observation.
Violence in support of ones interest and ones fellows is not a liability it is a capability that as with any other can be used well, poorly or not at all. As violence and weapons seem to be a concern of yours I would suggest that perhaps our mutual interest would be better served if you were to join the service and visit violence on those who might use such weapons against us. Somehow I doubt you will see it that way desiring some kind of group hug instead of expending any actual effort.
As you seem to have made up your mind about the futility of human existence, please move off of the carpeting before you expire. There are those of us who remain unconvinced and will just stick it out. I have a feeling that despite your dire predictions there will be later generations to wonder just what the heck you were thinking. Perhaps your (ahem) interesting attitude is due to a failure on your parents part to deliver a pony for Christmas at some point in your youth. Then again you might simply have been without oxygen for a time. Who knows, as Bill said "You can't make this stuff up."
Rhetoric (from Greek á¿¥Î®ÏÏÏ, rhÃªtÃ´r, a speaker, or teacher) is the art of persuasion, through the use of language. As a field of study rhetoric is concerned with correct, accurate, pleasing, and effective use of language.
Apparently you skipped this course in college as your argument is base on inapt comparisons so numerous that time doesn't permit me to list them.
To list but a single example, your comparison of the United States and the Soviet Union was particularly inapt as the conditions that led to the downfall of the Soviet Empire are not generally in play here. If you are truly interested in the downfall of Soviet Russia I might suggest "Russian Empires; From prehistory to Putin" by Philip Longworth.
Now yes our wealth has brought with it a problem, although one of attitude not of impending doom. We seem to behave more Paris Hilton than Teddy Roosevelt.
Yet its not the SUV or disposable diapers that has brought this about, it is the rich kid attitude that nothing is worth fighting for unless it can be done with a minimum of inconvenience.
We can find something else to move crap home form Best Buy and there is all sorts of stuff one might wrap the baby up with. These are things that can be overcome, what can't be overcome is that some such as you have chosen to fail. From Vietnam to Iraq to ANWR the desire to fail seems to be rampant. Now for the sake of argument lets pretend that you are correct and the Visigoths are inbound to SEATAC. I for one will go out with flag and middle finger raised. What you do is your own affair, but do stop trying to bring your luddite fantasies to life.
Greetings, folks, I just happened to drop in on this illuminating thread. And it saddened me that human greed is in such abundant evidence on it.
One thing in particular aroused my curiosity: the thread has more or less limited resources, as measured in column-inches. Yet the guy who's making the loudest arguments about human greed for the earth's resources, and the disastrous consequences soon to arise from this greed, is the greediest participant of all, and consumes vastly more space than all the others. This hog of the column-inches is the one who filibusters the other participants from on high, and paints humans as an expendable part of the universe.
How curiously parallel to Lenin, Stalin & Co. They were the nomenklatura who knew better than the peasants on what should be done, and sent them off to die in the coal mines and the canals and the fields from the comfort of their dachas. Were one David Matthews in charge of us, what sort of governance might we expect from him?
103. Relax...people with money will continue to have all the energy they want. Those without money will find energy prohibitively expensive, and will not survive. And isn't that what a lot of people want?
Spend some of your wealth. Go live in China for a few months. Go live in Chile for a few months. Your eyes will be opened. My neighbors in Chile are Chileans. Upper crust, but Chilean.
Where capitalism and free markets grow, EVERYONE prospers.
Oh, and Russia? Been to Moscow? There's more money in Moscow than you can imagine. We're talking LIQUIDITY. 500 square foot Soviet-era one bedroom apartments selling for $1,200,000 USD. Concrete walls, floors, fluorescent lights. More like jail cells.
Get it through that skull of yours - the cost of living is NOT constant nor equal around the world. If it was, YOU couldn't live because I'm sure what you make isn't enough to live in central London, Yokohama, Kowloon Bay, or any other ultra-expensive place on earth. Which means we're all poor, miserable peasants scraping the ground for a few seeds...
I don't know what David is smoking...
But I know that I don't want any!!
What a psycho. Dude get some professional help soon. I'm no doctor, but after reading the crap that you spew, I know you should check in to the nearest psych ward, YOU'RE SICK IN THE HEAD!
Liberalisim is a mental disorder!
David Mathews is absolutely right in most things he has said in my opinion, although it will be impossible for most people to comprehend. That's just the result of a lack of understanding and foresight resulting from the general inability of most people to understand Einstein's remark about "compound interest being the most powerfull force on earth". I leave it to those people to educate themselves on this point.
Persons will never accept resource constraints limiting their opulence and will always vie with each other and nature as a result. Therefore, violence and environmental destruction is an upward spiral from here on in. The point of no return was passed with the invention of the steam engine.
What would be best is a large scale culling of humanity to 10% it's current size through some sort of disease or nuclear war after which a return to simple (not simplistic) living as ascetics. Better that than maintain the status quo and foster longterm problems such as climate change and more environmental destruction that will ultimately do the same thing.
Since we already have "off the shelf" technology that would allow us to use 5% of the gasoline we use today and drive the same distance, using a combination of plug-in hybrid technology and ethanol 85, why are we so worried about our impending doom? Solutions are out there, like the technology implementation that would save 95% of the gasoline we currently consume.
Also, even if the worst of Peak Oilers visions play out. We can electrify the railroads and keep goods moving. Many of the older cities in America and suburban areas, already have extensive public transportation systems that could be extended and enhanced.
Peak Oil would mean a change in lifestyle, and perhaps only a brief one until we find a non-petroleum way to power our transportation network.
Hello Insufficiently Sensitive,
> One thing in particular aroused my curiosity: the thread has more or less limited resources, as measured in column-inches. Yet the guy who's making the loudest arguments about human greed for the earth's resources, and the disastrous consequences soon to arise from this greed, is the greediest participant of all, and consumes vastly more space than all the others. This hog of the column-inches is the one who filibusters the other participants from on high, and paints humans as an expendable part of the universe.
The conservative, free-market types would say a lot more if they had somethin to say.
> Where capitalism and free markets grow, EVERYONE prospers.
This is a myth, a lie, and a delusion of capitalism. Capitalism could not function without access to a vast number of impoverished Third World employees who have no choice except to work 60 - 80 hours a week for less than $2 a day, without benefits or any sort of workers' rights. Your prosperity is made possible by these people's poverty.
>My neighbors in Chile are Chileans. Upper crust, but Chilean.
There are wealthy people in every country. You are forming a false opinion of Chile by selection bias: You associate only with the wealthy. You should spend some time with the peasants if you really want to know what life is really like in Chile. You should live with them. It would open your eyes to the reality on the ground.
>Oh, and Russia? Been to Moscow? There's more money in Moscow than you can imagine. We're talking LIQUIDITY. 500 square foot Soviet-era one bedroom apartments selling for $1,200,000 USD. Concrete walls, floors, fluorescent lights. More like jail cells.
Of course there is plenty of wealthy people in places such as Moscow. Corruption is a profitable business. America's CEOs learned this lesson a long time ago. Home Depot's CEO did pretty well for himself, didn't he?
>Get it through that skull of yours - the cost of living is NOT constant nor equal around the world. If it was, YOU couldn't live because I'm sure what you make isn't enough to live in central London, Yokohama, Kowloon Bay, or any other ultra-expensive place on earth. Which means we're all poor, miserable peasants scraping the ground for a few seeds...
There are billions of humans who are poor, miserable peasants living in shantytowns over exposed sewers and in landfills scavenging. Look at the condition of people in Lagos, Nigeria or the entire country of Zimbabwe. We allow these horrors to continue forever because we care more about our own prosperity than about billions of humans who have no choice except to live without.
Hello John C,
> Since we already have "off the shelf" technology that would allow us to use 5% of the gasoline we use today and drive the same distance, using a combination of plug-in hybrid technology and ethanol 85, why are we so worried about our impending doom? Solutions are out there, like the technology implementation that would save 95% of the gasoline we currently consume.
If America's entire corn crop were converted to ethanol it would not provide for more than 7% of America's fuel consumption. The United States of America is consuming 21+ million barrels of oil a day. This is not a simple problem with a simple solution. It is a catastrophe approaching.
>Also, even if the worst of Peak Oilers visions play out. We can electrify the railroads and keep goods moving. Many of the older cities in America and suburban areas, already have extensive public transportation systems that could be extended and enhanced.
Electrifying railroads is one of those good ideas which will never come. Nor would it make much of a difference: There is no railroad service to the suburbs. America is auto-dependent and oil-addicted for a reason. It would require a huge investment to break that addiction, we are talking here about trillions of dollars for a nation which is already almost $9 trillion into bankruptcy.
>Peak Oil would mean a change in lifestyle, and perhaps only a brief one until we find a non-petroleum way to power our transportation network.
You are a man of faith, John, aren't you?
> Violence in support of ones interest and ones fellows is not a liability it is a capability that as with any other can be used well, poorly or not at all. As violence and weapons seem to be a concern of yours I would suggest that perhaps our mutual interest would be better served if you were to join the service and visit violence on those who might use such weapons against us.
Here is a perfect expression of humankind's violent insanity which has propelled our species to over 10,000 years of near-perpetual warfare all over the globe and has led to the development of such terroristic weapons of nuclear bombs, nuclear missiles, and all of the other WMDs.
The problem with Homo sapiens is that the species is its violence and destructiveness. This is the main reason why the species has little prospects of survival. While humans obsess over killing each other and threatening to kill each other the Earth has already begun to display evidences of strain from human overpopulation and human abuse the environment.
Humans are going to keep on fighting these wars until the species drives itself to extinction. On a positive note, warfare will go extinct with Homo sapiens.
> Since we already have "off the shelf" technology that would allow us to use 5% of the gasoline we use today and drive the same distance
Yes, I have two bicycles. I think it is actually much less than 5%.
For another poster farther up, I also have 5 guns, and I'm not a democrat. I'm also not a republican. Both parties are in deep denial, as are most of the posters here.
There is a common ground between liberals and conservatives where we can look into the future together and work on these problems, but defining people in terms of whether they are left or right, have guns or have gardens, this is all just bullshit.
We've done the math and looked at the science. If you haven't (and most of you have obviously not), then you should go read some books instead of posting a bunch of unintelligible misinformation on the net. I don't have much patience for arguing on the internet, so I'll just leave it there.
"On a positive note, warfare will go extinct with Homo sapiens."
Hmmm, the speaker has led such a sheltered life that he's never gotten outdoors enough to observe ants.
Robert Nelson, (spokesman for Peak Oil Seattle), at #112. Surely a candidate, even this early in the year, for the snottiest, most condescending post of 2007.
I love Peak Oil's slogan at the top of their webpage: "The barrel is half empty". Pretty much sums up how the left looks at the world, doesn't it?
"We've done the math and looked at the science."
Gosh, that should just about be the final word, then. With such flawless knowledge, you're ready for prime time on Knowitall Radio, aka NPR. When shall we tune in KUOW for your pronunciamento?
He has all the answers - but doesn't have time to share any with us? Bwahh, ha, aha, haaaa..
Apocalyptic Leftists: please get some professional help, get stoned, bugger you buddy, whatever..
Just STOP trying to force everyone else into your little death-nirvana (please show some initiative by removing yourselves first (plus, it'll save us a lot of ammunition))
My favorite quote from the Times article about Seattle Peak Oil, "More than a dozen people showed up at their most recent monthly meeting, arriving by foot, bike, motorcycle and fuel-efficient cars. One guy parked his car at the bottom of a nearby hill because he didn't want to waste the gas driving up."
Remind me again, why do we refer to lefties as moonbats?
Dave M said:
"There is no railroad service to the suburbs."
You have lived in Seattle for too long. I grew up and live in the Northeast. Just about every suburban town in this part of the country is linked to the center city by passenger trains, many of them electrified. There is nothing stopping us from electrify cross country freight trains as well if/when the time comes. You'd be surprised to learn that a lot freight trains move via electricity in places like Europe. No reason why we can't also. It's just a matter of will. Will we have the will to deal with the consequences of Peak Oil? I say yes. I don't know why you think people will just throw in the towl and give up. There are solutions and when faced with either solving our energy problems or not being able to get food or go anywhere, people will embrace solutions.
Another reason to be optomistic about Peak Oil.
There is a huge financial incentive to supply energy. Those who solve Peak Oil will be the next tycoons of our era. This is motivation enough for people to solve Peak Oil energy problems.
BTW, ethanol can be made from many more things than corn, including garbage and any organic waste.
Wow, this just keeps on going and going. I'm impressed.
Well, ok, continue to drive your cars and make your "enemies" rich. By continuing to use oil, your are lining the pockets of countries that at least you think, do not have your best interests in mind.
How do you think Iraq funded its weapons of mass distraction? Oh, thats right, they didn't have any. It is Iran that is funding its nuculear weapons program by selling you oil.
Saudia Arabia, where most of the high-jackers came from, up until 911 actively promoted anti-Americanism as a way of distracting their people from the bad job they were doing of running the country.
Oh, and then there is Venuzula (sp). Probably not much of a threat but I'm sure Bush and the gang will spread the fear. Probabaly Russia that is the real problem.
Not very clever at all.
Hey, even Albertians are smarter. In Calgary, over 10% of trips are by transit. Their light rail is at capacity and they are going to expand it. They are even looking into high-speed rail between Edmonton and Calgary. Oil company executives cycle to work on their excellent trail system to get their exercise.
Taiwan has just completed their high-speed rail system. This is the kind of technology that will help. Both China and Europe continue to improve and expand their rail networks. This is the solution to peak oil. Develop better transportation systems that use less energy. The car is going the way of the horse.
America is way behind and falling further behind thanks to all you drivers.
Europe and China actually give me hope. North America, not so much.
"Well, ok, continue to drive your cars and make your "enemies" rich. By continuing to use oil, your are lining the pockets of countries that at least you think, do not have your best interests in mind."
And which political ideology opposes any new oil drilling in the U.S. and steadfastly opposes the development of nuclear power which might facilitate the actual use of the future "plug-in" vehicles they are so fond of?
You only get one guess.
I was amazed to learn in An Inconvient Truth that China has far higher gas mileage standards than the United States. Apparently we no longer believe in American ingenuity can solve our proplems like energy consumption problems.
It is true that parts of the U.S. will be affected by Peak Oil far worse than other parts of the world that are much better prepared. Europe, for instance, has been preparing for Peak Oil since the 1970s and their high energy taxes and extensive mass transit systems will help them get through the crises far better than suburban sprawl America. In the U.S. cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago should fare pretty well with their extensive electric train systems. Los Angels, Pheonix, Houston, etc. are going to be in a pickle. But people will adjust. Life will go on. We will find alternatives. Don't be so pesimistic.
123. I can't prove it, but I think Dave Mathews may have finally run out of energy.
Hello Organization Man,
> I can't prove it, but I think Dave Mathews may have finally run out of energy.
I am waiting to see if the conservatives here say anything worthy of a response. But at the present moment that appears extremely unlikely.
Oil not trading at $55.45 a barrel. The 3rd world has decided oil is too expensive and the warm weather in the Northern hemisphere has left large surpluses. We are buying more time to solve Peak Oil.
When Peak Oil does occur in earnest, look for oil to be approaching $200/barrel. That is what the Peak Oilest are worried about. It's been a long time since the U.S. experienced a deep recession like the one that wil happen when oil gets that expensive.
"Hey, even Albertians are smarter. In Calgary, over 10% of trips are by transit."
Wow, 10 percent. I just looked at Alberta from the air, and the dispersion of the population there makes the concept of mass transit laughable. Also noted the bazillions of snowmobile tracks, made by a population that does industrial strength modern art on winter fields and pastures by the gleeful kinetic method.
Also observed the staggering economic boom of Edmonton, resulting from the steadily increasing development of the Alberta oil sands. Anyone having competent knowledge of mechanical or building skills, and enough motivation to show up on a construction site, has a good job waiting there - such skills are in short supply.
There's far more oil in them thar sands than Saudi Arabia owns. Looks like the demise of the internal combustion engine has been significantly postponed.
127. Why should Canada worry about Peak Oil? With all the tar sands and natural gas and limited population, all Canada needs to do is tell the U.S. to take a hike and then live off their own resources to weather the Peak Oil storm. Also, Canadians would be more agreeable to government solutions to an energy crisis like more transit and higher energy taxes. Seems to me that Peak Oil is mainly a problem that will afflict America and it's war machine economy that is so reliant on oil.
Long thread, but the meaning of Peak Oil has not sunk in for most posters. I try another explanation of the situation:
Energy prices work as a tax on the consumer, directly affecting purchasing power. As a greater share of income goes to pay for energy, less is available for other purchases. As energy prices ratchet up in the coming decades, markets for anything but the most basic goods and services will dry up.
The emerging market for energy efficient technology will not take up the slack sufficiently to prevent a significant reduction of general economic activity, because fossil fuel depletion trumps any efficiency gains. Sustainable alternative energy sources are all expensive, poorly suited to large scale deployment and utilisation and certainly not able to provide energy at the prices we have come to depend on. Therefore: the world will pass it's economic peak when fossil fuel extraction (particularely oil) passes it's peak.
That is why the future is bleak, in a nutshell.
We must have cheap and clean energy sources (like oil, in fact) and they are just not there. The figures do not add up. We must 'power down' or engage in military competition for dwindling fossil resources.
Guess what the USA is doing in the Middle East...
"That is why the future is bleak, in a nutshell"
I don't know how old you are "Nanoton", but I've been listening to this same "the sky is falling" talk since the 1970's. All the negative data is created by liberal academics who specialize in crisis creation so that they can create a socialist world that depends on them. What to amaze me is that people continue to buy this nonsense.
Nanoton (and possibly John C), you could really benefit from taking some basic economics courses (not to mention logic and history). Unfortunately, David M. is completely out of his gourd and is too far gone..
As Bill has mentioned, you've fallen into the trap set for you by loony leftist academics and politicians so you'll obediently follow their commands to "save" you far into the future.
Prices are not taxes. You pay them voluntarily. Energy prices will only consume a greater share of your income if you CHOOSE to pay it. You complain about energy prices becoming more expensive - nothing makes other alternatives more economically viable.
There are more sources of oil and gas identified RIGHT NOW than ever before. Why do you continue to so viscerally block nuclear power? Did you know that, per pound, nuclear fuel contains 2.7 million times more energy than coal - AND is far more safe than any of the carbon-based fuel industries?
No, the future is not bleak - just your sadly myopic worldview.